HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Page 1/5  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Kurzabeit makes plain sense
Beth Stackpole   2/23/2012 7:34:30 AM
NO RATINGS
I suppose I risk being lumped in the "socialist" category when I say I'm all behind this idea of Kurzarbeit, whether it's following the German's lead or just applying some basic common sense. My husband owns a small business and a couple of years ago when things got tight, he put into play a similar practice and had all existing employees go to an abbreviated work week obvioulsy with a reduced pay scale. Difficult for all, but better than seeing some of their trusted colleagues hit the chopping block. When business improved, the hours were reinstated and the team moved on from there.

I would hope in this day and age of economic and job uncertainly, employees would value this philosophy and make it their goal to be as productive and loyal as possible. Then it can be a win-win for both sides.

DW
User Rank
Iron
HP did this in the 1970s
DW   2/23/2012 9:52:03 AM
NO RATINGS
During a recession in the 1970s, Hewlett-Packard cut the employee work week and pay by 10% to save jobs.  When the economy improved, the work week and pay were restored to 100%.  It worked for HP; most employees preferred to "tighten their belts" and keep their jobs.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Kurzabeit makes plain sense
TJ McDermott   2/23/2012 9:59:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Employees have a right to view this concept with a bit of skepticism; the concept is almost unheard of in this country.  Labor is one of the highest costs to a business; axing people when times get tight is the easiest, if not smartest, thing to do to maintain that bottom line.

Workers would seem to be just another commodity, managers can always get more.

One way companies might improve their image is to not seek H-1B visa workers any more.  This concept (training during slow times) is an honest approach, H-1B is not.

The concept proposed would be a breath of fresh air.

 

didymus7
User Rank
Platinum
What we really need is....
didymus7   2/23/2012 10:19:53 AM
NO RATINGS
There is one trusim that I have never found not to apply:  Management always does what is easy.  There are probably a hundred different things that management can do when business begins to fall off, the easiest one is the layoff.  It doesn't really take a lot of effort for a layoff, in fact, most of the time I've detected a randomness to the selections as if management took no time to discover who contributes.  Generally the pattern is who makes the most money or who's the oldest.

Given past experience, this German method is way past the intelligence level of US management.  It's way too much effort.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: What we really need is....
ttemple   2/23/2012 10:26:18 AM
NO RATINGS
"Management always does what is easy."

That applies to almost everyone, not just management.

didymus7
User Rank
Platinum
Re: What we really need is....
didymus7   2/23/2012 10:31:11 AM
NO RATINGS
True, but not in such a destructive way as management.  When we do our processes that create the product, we try to make things as simple as possible but we don't compromise performance.  We examine the impact of our changes, I've rarely seen management do that.  I cannot count the number of times I've heard "We'll monitor the situation" or "We'll see what happens."  After that point, action is never taken.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Agree
apresher   2/23/2012 11:00:18 AM
NO RATINGS
TJ, I agree with you on this one.  While the concept seems to have appealing aspects, it could add to an underlying resentment among some workers.  The drive to achieving productivity and excellence is also not completely linked to time worked.

George Leopold
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Kurzabeit makes plain sense
George Leopold   2/23/2012 12:04:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Great example, Beth. I have recently heard stories about fewer workers leaving their jobs because they know how tough the job market has become. One report called them "disgruntled" workers, read: unproductive. It seems to be any business owner worth his/her salt can determine whether or not to keep a productive worker in good times and bad.

George Leopold
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Kurzabeit makes plain sense
George Leopold   2/23/2012 12:07:13 PM
NO RATINGS
The H-1B issue is a separate can of worms in this debate. While I understand that we don't want to lose engineers trained in the U.S. at great expense, I still find it very hard to believe that employers can't find at least some of the same skills within the existing U.S. workforce.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Kurzabeit makes plain sense
Dave Palmer   2/23/2012 1:49:11 PM
NO RATINGS
I tried to do something like this at a previous job. I had an extremely highly skilled technician who I had been training to take on more and more responsibility. Unfortunately, he also had the least amount of seniority, so when it came time to make layoffs, he was the first on the list. It seemed to like a bad idea to lay him off after investing so much time in training him, so I thought perhaps I could work out some kind of Kurzarbeit scheme. This was a mistake. Upper management thought I was being soft-hearted, and the union thought I was trying to screw them. In the end, I had to lay him off. As I had suspected, by the time the company started recalling laid-off workers, he had found another, better job.

Page 1/5  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service