If I Was Running A Company…Trust

This is a little early to about this but I must address after what happen today.  This past few weeks, President Obama passed The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and The Employee Free Choice Act.  There are a lot of discussions about it, so I just want to summarize my feelings.

I do not mind the LLFPA because I think there needs to be reasons why some are getting high salaries and some are not.  The problem is each employee is a case-by-case based on industry, geography, and other factors and I understand there might be some discrepancy.  However, I do think it’s necessary to have it on record.

I understand the EFCA is coming from because of the distrust among businesses with the economy tanking and workers need to unite themselves to fight.  However, the bill is too much in favor of the union and the bill suggests the prisoners are running the asylum.  Also in this current climate, companies are aware of the challenges and are willing to be fair.

I agree with many of my HR bloggers that the only way to combat these issues is to be proactive and upgrade your policies and efficiency.  Also, earn the trust from employees that you’re making an attempt at a better workplace.

The last part is the main reason I’m writing this post.  If you already know, Alex Rodriguez was tested positive for steroids in 2003.  This was a survey test and would not subject of any punishment.  The deal is not about A-Rod tests positive for steroids; the bigger issue is how this came about. 

A little history of this; between 1970-1995, there were four strikes in that time with 1994 been the biggest impact since that strike season cancelled the World Series.  In all 4 occasions, the owners wanted a salary cap to stray off a terrible baseball economy.  The players wanted a big pool of money.  In all instances, the owners use the good ol’ boy politics and the players’ union were always truthful (albeit arrogant) about these negotiations.  Then in 2002 when steroids surface, the players knew this had to be dealt with and at the same time, did not want another strike. So Executive Director of the MLBPA, Donald Fehr, and COO, Gene Orza, agreed to add steroid testing in the CBA. 

When the CBA included steroid testing, the union did survey tests, MLB and the players union agreed when the survey tests are done, burn it and be done with.  It was shady, but that was agreed upon both sides.  However, the federal government stepped in to to seize the reports because it involved ten people in the BALCO case.  The documents were suppose to kept secret but the people mention that A-Rod was 0ne of 104 players tested positive.  The bigger issue is when the Mitchell Report came out, it mention that in 2004, Orza tipped someone that a random test is coming up.  From the reports today, it looked like Orza tipped A-Rod since he was the highest-payed player in baseball.

With the possible revelation that Orza tipped A-Rod of upcoming tests, Orza not only violated the terms of the CBA, but has now cause a rift among the players who are making a lot less than A-Rod and the other superstars in the league.  It was a long struggle for the players to get what they want and that is all credit to the Fehr and Orza (and Marvin Miller if you want to include him).  Now Fehr and Orza are playing favorites of who should get the most money?  Their act swings back the momentum to the owners, who will argue that the union took advantage of the CBA and the players must now have the onions to confront Fehr and Orza of what they did.

Overall, the A-Rod situation can be a lesson to companies and unions that:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Be prepared if one does not go through
  3. Be respectful to each other
  4. Collaborate
  5. Finally the most important thing: live up to your end of the deal and be accountable

In baseball (and politics if you want to go that route), no one took accountability of all the actions and that’s pathetic of a game that was adapting to the 21st Century.  Instead, it’s politics as usual.

The A-Rod story also brought up two things:  Jose Canseco is a very reliable source and;



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