Monday, September 04, 2006
How is it that a labor union that's been around for 55 years did not know about the work issues their members deal with? Actually, they did!
I contacted the AFL-CIO in October of 2005 to ask how I could bring the helpful advice in the book, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Boss? 13 Types and How to Survive Them" to the attention of their members. The book contains 39 real-life stories of workers who were abused by their bosses and specific advice about how to deal with 13 bad-boss personalities. I received the following response, via e-mail, on October 24, 2005:
Please send me a review copy of the book so that I may consider it for our website.
AFL-CIO Publications Department
815-16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
That same day, I mailed a copy of the book to Mr. Parks. So, even if they weren't listening to their members, they knew about bad bosses when they got the book. What happened next? Nothing. At the very least, they could have told their membership about the free advice posted on the book's Web site, BIGBADBOSS.COM. But they didn't.
Then, imagine my surprise when, 10 months later, they conducted their "My Bad Boss" contest, gave their members no helpful advice whatsoever, and offered prizes—not help, but prizes—for the worst experiences! And imagine my further surprise when one of those prizes was a book about bad bosses that was published in November 2005 (one month after I contacted them) by an affiliate of the American Management Association! When labor organizations start going to management organizations to seek advice for their members, you've got to wonder, "What's wrong with this picture?" Especially if you're a dues-paying member.
But you have to remember that unions are revenue-earning businesses, too. Businesses that are run by managers. Businesses that are not exempt from harboring bad bosses within their own ranks.
So what really goes on in the AFL-CIO? We have no idea. Or do we?
Happy Labor Day.