Going Beyond Undercover Boss

With the economic recovery and job growth stagnating despite record profits on Wall Street, CEOs in this country could use a wake-up call. But instead of a wake up call, the second season of CBS’ “Undercover Boss” is more like a thiny-veiled public relations campaign for featured companies.

Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce, who has publicly opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, was the focus of last night’s premiere episode. Joyce got a first hand look at how his hotels operate from the perspective of Choice employees, and was surprised at just how demanding work in the hotel industry can be—both physically and mentally. And as Joyce quickly realized, these workers aren’t just numbers on a payroll statement. They are real people, with individual struggles, families, and career aspirations of their own.

Faced with the harsh reality that some of his full-time employees have to work two jobs just to cover their family’s basic needs, Joyce ends the episode by rewarding three of the workers he meets with vacations, training opportunities, and financial assistance. It’s awesome that these workers are finally getting a fair shot at a brighter future, and if we protect workers’ rights to form a union and bargain collectively, we can ensure that the millions of workers without an “undercover” boss get the same fair shake.

That means systemic changes in America’s workplaces that benefit businesses and employees alike. Unfortunately, “Undercover Boss” just doesn’t deliver those changes.

Because as gratifying as it is to see a CEO scrubbing toilet, we’ve got to do more if we want to build the win-win economy America’s hard-working women and men need.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 4:20 pm and is filed under General, Jobs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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