Letters to the Editor

By Seattle Business Magazine September 2, 2014


This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Im not sure where to begin, but the narrow view taken on Leslie Helms column regarding employment practices/drivers in the Northwest and the United States [May 2014] is disappointing. You make employers out to be hardened 19th century capitalists intent on repressing the working population. This broad brush of poisonous text is insulting to the majority of business owners and leaders I know. Did you ever think that:

  • Employers over-hired during the good times and realized in order to save most of their companys jobs theyd better field a leaner team during the greatest recession since the 1930s?
  • The reason wages are the smallest share of national GDP is because were much more productive per employee and have to be to keep jobs in America from being exported?
  • More than a little wage inflation doesnt force companies competing nationally or internationally to redeem themselves, but instead forces them to move or go out of business if they cannot absorb the costs?

I dont know where the thought comes from that money falls from trees onto employers and all they do is spend their time trying to take advantage of their most valuable asset their people, the ones who keep their business alive. As CEO of a 100 percent employee-owned business, Im cognizant of that fact every hour of every day. The other business owners and leaders I meet with regularly through the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound discuss ways we can attract and retain more of our workforce and how we can stay in business and compete profitably to retain, grow and reinvest in our businesses.
So, before taking on businesss employment practices, why dont you walk a mile in our shoes to understand the tough choices we make to stay alive in the Northwest? We post our monthly financials for all employee/owners to see. Come take a look.

Randy Gardiner
President & CEO, Red Dot Corporation

Editors reply: We did. See here.

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