Sunday, December 19, 2021


 Interesting how things read, isn't it? 

That candle factory in Kentucky

Now it is facing a lawsuit

The New York Times wrote an article on that candle company too, their focus being that the tornadoes had destroyed the community's major employer. 

What is the truth of the matter? I think the truth always lies somewhere in the middle. 

From my own experience with mandatory overtime, I can tell you for a fact that there is something called implied threat. You are told it is mandatory. You are told that you have to be there. You will written up if you are not. You know that those write-ups can lead to termination. That threat is held over you. If the company is one of the major employers in the area, that's a big threat, losing a job in an area where jobs are hard to come by. 

How do you explain the two divergent views from employees? Some employees talk about how the people you work with become family to you, and what a wonderful place to work it was. Others speak of it as a sweatshop, concerned only about getting the candles out the door. 

I can explain that. 

Remember when I stood in a meeting and said that suddenly deciding on mandatory overtime was unfair during a holiday weekend? 

How I got called into an office? How the main thrust of their outrage was at me for 'ridiculing a supervisor'? Their claim that other employees were outraged at me for my comments? 

That is the way it is. When you work in a company like mine, you get additional training, you get opportunities based on the choices of your supervisors. Period. It is not skill or talent. It is whether you are liked by your supervisors. Under these dynamics, there will always be those folks who will ingratiate themselves to their company no matter what. No. Matter. What.

This is a company with a long history of labor complaints

Even though the company says that any employee was free to go, "the company’s chief executive officer, Troy Propes, told Fox News on Sunday that workers were told to shelter inside the factory’s bathrooms, which had window-less concrete walls and a steel roof. Management did not want to evacuate the building and send workers out into the approaching storm, Propes said."

Note that the company had a two hour warning that dangerous storms were due to come through. Two hours! Even as it denies that the company refused to let people leave, its CEO is saying that the decision to keep the employees was based on their concern for those employees. Whatever spin you want to put on it, it is clear to me that the employees were being discouraged from leaving. 

I will also bet you bucks that there were midlevel supervisors who were telling people they'd be fired if they left. I guarantee it. Know why? Because those midlevel supervisors got their positions by pleasing the powers that be. If the CEO isn't going to close down the factory, the job of the midlevel supervisors is to make sure the company continues to run. End of story. 

Watch these things unfold with an open mind and eyes, because you will see the reality of millions of Americans in low-paying dead end jobs. 


  1. Perhaps the workers could all get together to campaign for better and fairer conditions? Oh, that would be communism.

  2. I also read somewhere that one of those who passed was a supervisor from the jail because inmates were being employed there? Is that right?

    I foresee more than one lawsuit.

  3. What you write makes a horrible amount of sense. I've seen it in action in several of my college low paying jobs.

  4. Low paying dead end Jobs is why there are so many Help Wanted Signs in businesses that have been exploiting what was previously an unlimited Cheap Labor force before the Pandemic. The leverage Employees now have in most cases to obtain better Employment means they will leave the low paying dead end Jobs as soon as they can. Unfortunately, in areas where ONE Employer is the Major Employer, all you say comes to pass. I do Hope the Lawsuits have sufficient enough consequences to cause the Employer to do better by it's Workers and not put it out of business if there isn't much other employment in that community... it's all a delicate balance, isn't it?

  5. Some major changes in labor law are needed.


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