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Mass Layoffs Ethical?

Caterpillar cuts 2,500 workers

This article reinforces the ethical dilemma that we discussed in class concerning laying off workers. We talked about how people are let go without consideration of their performance or their livelihood just overall production costs. The company will be laying off 2,500 workers today but have gotten rid of 34,000 full-tiime workers. The explanation by the company states that their are not experiencing the demand that they were in the previous five years. Should employees have some control over their careers other than hoping that their company does well enough to keep them on board? I believe that some companies should guarantee certain workers a lifetime employment offer after so many years of superior performance. Kind of like the idea of tenure within universities. Any other ideas to make it more balanced between those who run the company and those that make-up its production?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. laraitan
    October 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Everyone can put forth more effort to make the company succeed. Everyone gets the results with the effort that they put into it. No one is to blame but themselves. The employees who have the most experience should already be aware of how the company works therefore they would be the best people who could perform their jobs the best if they put forth the effort.

  2. dsanderson14
    November 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    If employees have been loyal enough to work with this company for so long, then I think the company should be loyal to them as well and let them keep their jobs, unless their efforts or dedication to the company are no longer there.

  3. ykbriggs
    November 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Mass layoffs are definitely not ethical, but guarantying a lifetime employment doesn’t solve the problem since if company going down there won’t be jobs in any way. So if there is a going concern situation maybe it will be justifiable. I think this problem is just a part of an economy cycle – when business down there is no jobs, when new business created and developed there are new opportunities for employees. What might be a good thing to do and probably is done by many companies is to retrain employees but it’s expensive. Outsourcing is one of the most important economical and ethical issues right now; it might be solved if consumers will agree to by more expensive domestic alternatives, so I guess it’s up to us.

  4. cwmoore11
    November 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm


    If there are going to be mass layoffs like this, there should be justification better than we just are not experiancing great demand. If there is a need for mass layffs, paperwork should show reason and confrences should be held in order to inform those who it may concern. Those who have been with a company longest should be the ones who stay in the longrun. They have the devotion to the company. It is also cheaper to keep the higher payed and longer staying employees than to train others who make less. Justification is a large issue in layoffs, and should not be overlooked.

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