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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



September 25th, 2014

ESPN critics of NFL model how DC pundits should criticize US gov’t

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

There’s a level of refreshing level of candor about Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, from two ESPN employees — Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons — rarely spoken today in mainstream media (and ESPN is certainly mainstream). It’s all the more remarkable when you learn that ESPN pays the NFL $15 billion to televise Monday Night Football. So, ESPN critics could be seen as biting the hand that feeds them, but these two pundits show tremendous courage in calling out the NFL mismanagement of its current domestic violence crisis.

Bill Simmons is the writer who started Grantland (an ESPN Internet Venture) and has been an ESPN superstar. For his calling Goodell a liar, he earned a 3 week suspension. The Simmons B.S. Podcast from which the audio came was pulled from the Grantland website by ESPN. Here is the audio that got him into trouble.

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Also brave were ESPN writers, Don Van Natta, Jr. and Keith Van Valkenburg, who wrote an extraordinary investigative Outside the Lines article that revealed that Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens ownership colluded with Ray Rice’s attorney to cover up his domestic violence incident. Then, both Goodell and Ravens owner, Steve Bisciotti, lied about their knowledge of it. Very Nixonian of the NFL.

The OTL article title

Despite ESPN silencing Simmons and reportedly wordsmithing the OTL article with some deletions, many critics on the network are jabbing the NFL. Critics are the only ones who can hold institutions accountable.

Why do we not see the same drive to be candid from the Washington DC beltway political pundits? Their relationships with the “newsmakers” is way too cozy. Reporter would rather ingratiate themselves with the people they are paid to hold accountable. Kissing up and comfort prevent truthtelling. The result — America is in a new war while still fighting the old one with public support.

After all …

All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed. I.F. Stone

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, NFL: Domestic Violence | Post Comment



September 25th, 2014

Anti-union advocates pervert notion of bullying in the workplace

For 12 years we have led advocacy for state laws to prohibit health-harming abusive conduct (workplace bullying). The bill — the WBI Healthy Workplace Bill — has no hidden agenda. It is straightforward in its purpose and language. We are trying to right a wrong. Opponents are apologists for employer abuse, plain and simple. They choose to protect employers’ rights over workers’ rights to employment free from abusive interference. When they oppose the HWB, they distort and pervert the terms of the bill. They lie in their testimony without consequences. Lawmakers blindly appease the business lobby.

Michigan, a state dominated by Republicans in recent years, became a right to work state. That means if unions exist, they must serve all workers whether or not they pay union dues. It is a tactic designed to bankrupt unions. Now comes Michigan State Rep. Kevin Daley with an “anti-bullying bill” (HB 5847) that purports to “protect” workers from unions who post names of workers who opt out of union membership.

We are mired in distorted semantics. The moniker “right to work” is promoted as freedom while it actually discourages unions who can bargain with employers for more rights and privileges than workers as individuals can never attain.

Opting out of union membership violates the free market concept of fairness in that one must pay for services received. Benefits of union membership should accrue only to those who belong to unions. If you want the benefits without paying for them, you are a freeloader. So, while proponents of “free markets” and unbridled capitalism feel no sympathy for those lowest on the economic rung, even calling them lazy (as Speaker of the House John Boehner did while on a 7 week vacation), they are the same people who want workers in right to work states to bleed unions dry by forcing services to be provided to non-members.

If Rep. Daley cares about workers not being bullied, then he should introduce the HWB! We dare him.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Unions, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



September 23rd, 2014

ISLE Symposium panel on Bullying and the Locker Room Culture of Performance

The Fifth Annual Sports Law and Ethics Symposium at Santa Clara University was hosted by the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics on Sept 11, 2014. Below is video of the panel

Bullying and the Locker Room Culture of Performance

Panelists:

• Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance an organization dedicated to transforming all youth sports into positive, character-building experiences

William Pollack, PhD, Harvard Medical School clinical psychologist and author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Brandi Chastain, U.S. Olympic and World Cup women’s soccer champion turned advocate for youth safety in soccer

• Gary Namie, PhD, Workplace Bullying Institute Director, educating the audience about adult bullying in the workplace and its overlap with the Jonathan Martin/NFL case.

Pictured from left to right: Brandi Chastain, William Pollack, Gary Namie

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, NFL: Domestic Violence, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



September 23rd, 2014

Greedy management locks out Atlanta Symphony musicians

The Board and management of the Atlanta Symphony repeated their 2012 tactic of locking out their musicians and canceling concerts. In 2012, 95 musicians agreed to be shrunk to 88 accepted a 15% cut in pay and 10 weeks of no pay to help the organization after a 1-month lockout. The CEO Stanley Romanstein then promised the compromises would be a one-time cut. The symphony is part of a larger organization the Woodruff Arts Center with CEO Virginia Hepner. The WAC boasts of reducing its deficits but wants further cuts that jeopardize the integrity of the once-great ASO that was led by Robert Shaw as artistic director for 21 years (1967-1988).

Now just days prior to the 2014 season’s start, the musicians are locked out again. The lock out (not a work stoppage or strike by the players association) was ordered by Romanstein despite the symphony ending its most recent fiscal year on target and within its budget. Essentially, the lockout is an “austerity” move by management to force employees to bear all hardships while deficits are cut.

Lock outs, undertaken entirely by ownership, are attempts to portray the musicians as greedy belligerent workers. Romanstein wants to reduce the size of the orchestra further, shrinking it well below other “world-class” symphonies.

Remarkably, the conductor Donald Runnicles and music director Robert Spano wrote in a public letter:

The lockout is essentially the board and management punishing the orchestra: it means they have no access to the place where they work, where they make music; it means their health costs are not going to be paid. And what on earth has that punishment got to do with two invested parties in a discussion-finding consensus? It’s a one-sided attempt to force the orchestra to its collective knees. It also paints the orchestra as this intransigent group of musicians. But in fact they have shown extraordinary willingness to come to a common agreement, as what happened two years ago proves. The fact that it should have come to a lockout again is simply devastating.

The contract is negotiated between WAC/ASO and the ASO Players Association. Paul Murphy is president of the union and claims the major disagreement is about the size of the future orchestra. If too small, the ASO “cannot function in the first league of orchestras.”

CBS46 News

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Unions | Post Comment



September 23rd, 2014

Daily Show take on idiotic anti-science Congressmen

We here regularly criticize the American penchant for being anti-science. When policymakers are the ignorant ones who willfully substitute personal opinions for science, it endangers the country. Watch Jon Stewart on the Daily Show select clips from the House Committee on Science to illustrate the buffoonery happening in Washington regarding climate change.

The Daily Show

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, The New America | Post Comment



September 19th, 2014

Black Enterprise: 4 Signs of Workplace Bullying: What You Can Do

by Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq., Black Enterprise, Sept. 1, 2014

If you thought bullying was over after elementary school, think again. No longer confined to boundaries of the schoolyard, the new face of bullying is far more sophisticated and adult! Workplace bullying is a growing epidemic that has prompted numerous groups to press Congress on legislation that would outlaw it. With more than one-third of the U.S. workforce being bullied, it’s a shocking truth deserving of significantly more exposure. The Boston Globe discussed the topic late last month, shedding light on what has become the workplace’s “dirty little secret.”

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News | Post Comment



September 18th, 2014

Santa Clara Sports Law & Ethics Symposium and the NFL

WBI proudly participated in the Fifth Annual Sports Law and Ethics Symposium at Santa Clara University on Sept. 11 hosted by the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics. Planning for the event preceded the NFL inadequate handling of the multiple domestic violence incidents by player-employees. But the symposium was immersed in the headlines of the day.

Gary Namie, WBI Director, joined a panel exploring Bullying and the Locker Room Culture. My contribution was to educate the audience about adult bullying in the workplace and overlap with the Jonathan Martin/NFL case. Esteemed colleagues on the panel included

Brandi Chastain, U.S. Olympic and World Cup women’s soccer champion turned advocate for youth safety in soccer

William Pollack, PhD, Harvard Medical School clinical psychologist and author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

• Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance an organization dedicated to transforming all youth sports into positive, character-building experiences

Watch the 85 min. video of the panel.

Paraag Marathe, President of the 49ers of the NFL opened the Symposium. He refused to address the then-current domestic abuser Ray McDonald presented for the team. I was able to ask if the integrity and character of players was part of the recruitment and hiring process. He emphatically said that players with skills but no integrity had a place on the 49ers roster. He also cited the extensive psychological testing that all potential player-employees face. Hmm.

KPIX-TV San Francisco coverage of the Symposium

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, NFL: Jonathan Martin, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | Post Comment



September 18th, 2014

NH Gov. veto of partial workplace bullying bill holds

New Hampshire lawmakers uphold veto of workplace bullying bill
By Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press, Sept. 18, 2014

The New Hampshire House on Wednesday upheld Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of a bill aimed at curbing workplace bullying among the state’s employees, despite strong calls from several lawmakers to go against the governor.

Supporters of the bill fell roughly 50 votes short Wednesday of the necessary two-thirds to override the veto. The majority of Republicans voted to sustain the veto while a majority of Democrats voted to overturn it.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



September 18th, 2014

WBI TN State Coordinator — Jackie Gilbert — plays key role in state policy creation

Original story in the Shelbyville (TN) Times-Gazette

A Middle Tennessee State University business professor continues her push for a more civil workplace.

Dr. Jackie Gilbert, a professor of management in the MTSU Jones College of Business, joined forces with like-minded people across the state and nation to help craft legislation and guidelines that will help do just that within government agencies.

Gilbert was part of a group of advocates who helped shape the Healthy Workplace Act, which was signed into law in June by Gov. Bill Haslam. The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, grants legal protection to those government agencies that adopt a model policy to combat abusive behavior in the workplace or craft comparable guidelines of their own.

The law applies to any agency, county, metropolitan government, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state. By enacting the law, Tennessee became the 26th state to introduce the Healthy Workplace Bill and the first to pass it. The national grassroots legislative movement began more than a decade ago to get workplace anti-bullying laws passed in every state.

“Respectful interaction at work is a priority,” said Gilbert, who has incorporated anti-bullying concepts into her teaching. “This law is going to set the stage for providing some guidance for what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at work.”

Gilbert is a member of Tennessee Healthy Workplace Advocates, which worked toward passage of the bill. She was recently appointed to serve on a workplace civility workgroup that is advising the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, or TACIR, on developing a model policy for Tennessee’s state and local governments. The legislation requires that a model be in place by March 15, 2015.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



September 13th, 2014

Dr. Namie on Labor Pains Podcast

Listen to Dr. Gary Namie be interviewed by Larry Buhl on the Labor Pains Podcast. The program covers workplace issues of today and tomorrow. Here Gary and Larry talk about workplace bullying and the NFL.

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See more Labor Pains Podcasts here.

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Posted in NFL: Jonathan Martin, WBI in the News | Post Comment



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