Deeply Troubling Employee Conduct in France

According to this CNN article,  some French workers responded to frustration with looming layoffs, and with executives, by holding executives hostage.

According to the workers, they have no intent to harm the executives, they just want to force them into negotiations.

The workers’ frustrations with layoffs and executives, I understand.  I sympathize with many workers immensely, and many have problems that are real and substantial.

But these workers’ means of dealing with those frustrations, and their actions, are very troubling.

Now more than ever, we all need to touch base with our humanity, our fundamental principles, and our respect for the Other- especially when we have profound disagreements and distrust with the Other.   In saying this, I am foremost mindful of my own progress that need be made in this regard, and I try to remind myself of these principles, especially when my emotions incline me to react in a petty or righteous way.  We are all serious works in progress, and these times have made many of us fixate on others’ perceived or actual misconduct rather than exploring whether we ourselves have any, even when what our body’s are doing (free from our moral oversight) is as obviously wrong as holding a boss hostage.

Consider this famous quote:

“In conflict, be fair and generous.  In governing, don’t try to control.  In work, do what you enjoy.  In family life, be completely present.”- Tao Te Ching.

How can any of these things be accomplished by holding their bosses hostage?  How are workers not embodying that same root misconduct- the same core marginalization or apathy- that they want others to stop?


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Filed under Philosophy - Employee Rights

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