All change?

Nov 10 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

The operative word these days around the world is "change". It's something I never seem to have enough of when I need a cuppa, and it's also what President-elect Obama has been championing the past two years. But should Americans really expect to see a difference in the workplace? Surprisingly (to me), the Wall Street Journal says "yes".

While American workers shouldn't expect higher pay, less hours, and Ferrari corporate cars, there are a number of things that are likely to change from the Bush years.

For example, it's likely that unions will have a greater sphere of influence within the workplace. It's also likely that American workers will have an easier time forming unions. During the last guy's term, companies often felt that the government was on their side, giving them carte blanche to get rid of those who would organize.

According to the WSJ article, a re-focus on work/family life would also return. Without enjoying the flexibility that European countries offer, mother can hope for improved maternity leave, as well as strengthening the Family and Medical Leave Act., This would allow parents to feel safer in taking time off to address personal and family needs, without fearing the proverbial axe.

Regardless, it seems to be an exciting time in America. But let's not get carried away, as the new President will have his hands full untying past knots. As Mr. Obama put it, change starts from the bottom up Ė it will be up to employees in America to hold their governments' accountable for their actions Ė or lack thereof.