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Tom Blumer

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January 14, 2014 - 12:01 am
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An email from “‘Sue’ via Change.org” hit my inbox on Saturday, asking me to sign her petition.

Change.org itself is a fundamentally shady, personally invasive for-profit operation posing as a charitable petition-generating platform to “empower people everywhere.” For this column, let’s stick with what “Sue Whistleblower,” who says she won’t use her real name because she claims to be “afraid I’ll lose my job for what I’m about to tell you,” wrote.

“Sue” — we’ll assume that she’s a real person, but one can’t rule out the opposite — is “heartbroken” that big-box retailer Staples, her employer, decided in early December that effective with the week ending January 4, 2014, “part-time associates should not be scheduled to work more than 25 hours per week.” Staples has also informed managers that because of this move, they “may need to hire additional associates to ensure optimal staffing levels.”

“Sue” asserts that the company “decided to cut part-time employees’ hours just so they won’t have to provide health care benefits under Obamacare.” Although the company’s internal instructions to store managers are silent on the topic, it’s reasonable to believe that Obamacare’s long-known and widely known “employer mandate” was a major factor in the policy change. Under that mandate, employers with more than 50 workers must provide health insurance to anyone who puts in an average of 30 or more hours per week — a new and unprecedented definition of “full-time employee” — or pay a fine of $2,000 per uncovered employee (after an exemption for the first 30).

Thus, Staples has joined the 389 entities whose announced decisions to cut part-timers’ hours compiled at Investor’s Business Daily can arguably be tied to the employer mandate.

The Obama administration continues to insist that there is no discernible Obamacare-driven movement towards part-timers, and that the Everest-like mountain of accumulated evidence is merely “anecdotal.” That’s interesting, and two-faced. Knee-jerk leftist and lead administration apologist Paul Krugman, reacting to one person’s allegedly successful encounter with HealthCare.gov in October, repeated a statement he has been making for years: “[T]the plural of anecdote is data.” The fact is that few firms have publicly admitted Obamacare’s influence to avoid the leftist mob’s intimidation campaigns. One which has taken a public stance, but is not on IBD’s just-cited list, is Whole Foods. Over time, it will move 4,000 employees, or 5 percent of its workforce, from full-time to part-time specifically as a result of Obamacare.

That’s a lot of anecdotal “data,” Paul. Overall, part-timers have increased in number by over 2.6 million during the past 73 months. Meanwhile, full-time employment, still almost 4.6 million shy of it pre-recession peak, has been stuck at barely 47 percent of the adult population for four years — down from 52 percent when the recession began.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Votes have consequences.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Correct me if I'm wrong but, I thought that the managers of a publicly traded company had a fiduciary duty under the law to operate the company to the benefit of the stockholders. That is to make prudent decisions given available information to maximize the profit within acceptable risk.

If they did the business case analysis which showed that reducing hours was the most prudent way to run the company, they would be hard pressed to defend not doing it.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want. I want! I want!! I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT!!!!!!!

EYEEEE....... WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WANT!!!!

Gimme.

signed, "progressive" voters.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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Sue, unless you use your real name, how are we to believe you?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem here is a disconnect, and ignorance. "Sue" if she exists, and other Staples employees regardless, probably has no idea who owns the company, what its profit margin is, who runs it, etc. Instead, she goes to work when her shift starts, does as little as she can to get through until she's off, and then goes home. Every pay period she gets a check in the mail. She vaguely understands that the more hours she works, the more money she works, but she has no clue why they would employ her. You probably could convince her that the government forced Staples to hire her, if you were persuasive enough.

When there's a really tiny small business, say a store which has an owner or 2 working at it, and 5-10 employees, the attitude can change somewhat, but I've worked in places that size where the employees figured that the owners were wealthy enough that they could pay more, anyway. Gratitude at having a job provided for you? Don't be ridiculous! Granted, at the last place like this that I worked, the owners were self-proclaimed "socialists" (no lie) who worked much harder than the average small business owner to cut costs among employees and work them like borrowed mules, but still...

Problem is "Sue" probably thinks that her wages could double or triple, she could receive benefits, and the owners of Staples could "afford" all of this without seriously hurting themselves financially. They don't do these things because they're greedy...
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I begin to wonder what sort of 5-finger discounts employees in these big stores might be instituting. Sears has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy for years, and if companies like Staples start punitatively cutting back employee hours, wouldn't that encourage said part-timers to start hauling whatever they can out of the place under their parka's?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nan, neither Sears, nor Staples, is "punitively" cutting back work hours for employees. These businesses are doing it to stay competitive, and in some cases, alive.

If anyone is punishing workers in America, it is Obama, with his socialist schemes, over-regulation, and excessive taxes.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sue is yammering at the wrong people. "She" should be working toward repeal of Oh Bummer Tax. THAT is at the root of this travesty.

Her failure to address the root is a strong indicator she is a shill.. or incredibly stupid. Both?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I got an e-mail promoting the same petition. Fortunately, my e-mail program has a handy feature which I frequently use to dispose of requests to sign petitions which I believe are either worthless or off-the-mark.

It's called a "delete button", and functions really well in getting rid of this kind of garbage.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Come on people, we know the Administration's response to this. Staples isn't a strong company anyways. Drop your "junk" company and use the better one.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
STAPLES is one of the companies funded by Bain Capital when Romney was involved. Liberals feel the only successful company is one that had to go out of business because of full funding all their employees. Of course they would just claim it was mismanagement, not Obamacare that led to the companies demise.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Votes have consequences.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even those that developed petition sites like Change.org, etc. admit that the site isn't for petitions - that's just the hook to draw the mark in. The real reason for online petitions is to collect email addresses, names, etc. for fundraising.

Never "sign" an online petitions unless you don't mind having your email address, info, etc. collected, traded/sold and want to get a fundraising spam every day.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Correct me if I'm wrong but, I thought that the managers of a publicly traded company had a fiduciary duty under the law to operate the company to the benefit of the stockholders. That is to make prudent decisions given available information to maximize the profit within acceptable risk.

If they did the business case analysis which showed that reducing hours was the most prudent way to run the company, they would be hard pressed to defend not doing it.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
That used to be true. However, under Obama, business are now in the business of providing jobs and healthcare (and fully funded abortions). I was watching some goober on Tavis Smiley (I was flipping channels, I swear). This guy was actually saying that in the past companies were to make profits but now they have a responsibility to .... You can image the lefty, hippy dippy crap this goober was spreading, all the while that idiot Smiley was nodding his head.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liberals look upon stockholders as evil. They and the bondholders got the shaft with the auto bailout as proof.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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