The thought is terrifying, being fired by a new manager who likes you less than the last one or a new owner that moves your factory overseas. Unfortunately, for decades it has been a reality for millions of Americans, more often now than ever. It is horribly legal.

Office politics are arbitrary. There is often little more reasoning in actions taken by management than personality conflict, personal aggrandizement, or profiteering, leaving a fired person to pick up the pieces with nothing but petty excuses and unemployment checks, if they are lucky. People will be hired for a batch of tasks without an explicit definition of the job’s temporary basis. Others will be condemned for their politics or because they annoyed the wrong person.

Is it any wonder some others will not share the excitement for their work when their managers and executives make significantly more money as they care only for their own advancement and glory?

Much like a fishing vessel, corporations and other types of uncooperative organizations will cast a net wide for laborers and bemoan the ones that slip away. Social pressures across the board have been shaped in such a way to place blame on the individuals who fail to maintain employment but not the corporations who fail their workers. It is never said a corporation is fired by their employees due to the actions of owners and managers. Rather, it is said an employee quit out of frustration or a labor union shut down operations with a strike.

In order to maximize efficiency and production, fishing professionals have been improving the technology used in their nets and honing their techniques for centuries. Imagine if the fish did the same.

Why should anyone be excited to work for an organization they have no stake in that could be sold out from under them at any moment? Is such an arrangement more than a convoluted contract? While there is nothing wrong with contracts, is it how most people would choose to expend their most precious resources, their time and energy? Put this way, would anyone prefer spending their life toward such endeavors?

The message of American Cooperatives Institute is you deserve so much more.

What if I lose my job?

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