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Try dumpster-diving, airline tells workers

August 18, 2006

I wish the article below was a parody from the humor magazine Onion. It is so horrid it certainly could be. But the truly amazing thing is that this article is real, on MSN. Almost as if they are trying to portray a grotesque parody of the worst excesses of America’s previous gilded age, a major corporation (Northwest Airlines) is telling its soon-to-be laid off workers that they should obtain things they need out of garbage dumpsters and that they should pretend they are not “hungry” when shopping.

I’ve got a better idea: what if top executives of the company took pay cuts instead of implementing massive lay-offs?

The idea of personal responsibility should be universal in society — applying to welfare recipients, middle class families, and corporate leaders alike. — Joel

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Try Dumpster-diving, airline tells workers

By MSN Money staff and wire reports

Northwest Airlines, which has slashed wages and jobs and is looking to lay off more workers as it exits bankruptcy, has apologized for distributing a booklet of money-savings tips for workers that includes advice that they go dumpster-diving.

The fifth-largest U.S. carrier put the tips in a booklet handed out to about 50 workers and posted for a time on its employee Web site. The booklet was part of a 150-page packet to ground workers, such as baggage handlers, whose jobs will likely be cut after their union agreed to allow the airline to outsource some of their work.

Prepared with the help of an outside company, the booklet encourages employees to manage their money better and prepare for financial emergencies. In one section, called “Preparing for a Financial Setback,” Northwest suggests that workers can take “a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.” It also says they should not be “shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”

Also among the tips: No. 48: Move to a less expensive place to live; and No. 59: Never grocery shop hungry.

‘A bit insensitive’

Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski says some employees were offended by the suggestions.
He tells Reuters, “We agree that some of these suggestions and tips … were a bit insensitive.” The airline said the list was inadvertently published in the resource guide without being reviewed by Northwest management. The airline has removed the list from the booklet and its employee Web site, the Detroit Free Press said.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2006 9:02 pm

    How terrible that such a well-known company can do such a thing. The booklet writers should be be sent walking with a copy of their joke book. The company did not even issue an apology.

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