Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Way Things Work at Whirlpool

The supervisor who gave a racist and demeaning letter to female employee was told on Monday not to worry about his job (he won't lose it)

A WPool supervisor, Mr. Tederic, gave an African-American female employee a letter so incredibly racist and demeaning, most companies following an ethics code would act immediately to fire the supervisor. But not WPool. WP fired the employee. She was the only one in this triangle to act proactively. She reported the abusive letter of the supervisor to two managers over Tederic. Yet she's the one without a job. WP management did nothing except give Tederic a day off. In fact, on Monday, December 21, Tederic was given a "vote of confidence" by WP.

From the Whirlpool Code of Ethics: "This code applies to all employees, officers and directors employees of Whirlpool Corporation and its subsidaries Whirlpool or company. As employees of Whirlpool, we will comply with all the laws, regulations and company policies that govern our activities around the world. To do any less would comprise our shared values. We will strive to be involved and responsible citizens in the communities where we live. At work ,we will deal with employees fairly and honestly and with concern for safety and well being."

(Who does this apply to at WP? Certainly not Mr. Tederic, the white supervisor, and from reports across the country regarding WP facilities - see below, it doesn't seem to apply to WP employees who practice racism.)

"Management is responsible for making sure that proper attention is given to ,and that controls are in place for promoting compliance with our code of conduct and specific addressing each area. Employees who fail to abide by these company policies will face corrective action, up to and including termination of employment."

Mr. Tederic, who is exempt from the code, practices racism without any punishment because he's white. Whirlpool is clearly subsidizing racism and poverty in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

My holiday wish for America and Whirlpool:
An America where no one is fired because they are Black.
An America where racism and sexism are not tolerated in the work place.
Further, an America where Black children are not kicked out of a pool because they change the complexion of the facility.
An America where no one denies interracial couples the right to marry.
An America where no one is arrested based on the color of his or her skin.

Rev. Edward Pinkney