Majority of American Workers Believe Iraq War No Threat to Job Security

first_imgWith war raging in Iraq, the latest national “America At Work” poll commissioned by the Employment Law Alliance shows that the vast majority of American workers do not believe the conflict poses a direct threat to their job security. The most recent ELA “America at Work” poll shows that 84% of workers are not worried about losing their jobs because of the war in Iraq.Karen McAndrew, a partner in the Employment Law Group at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, the ELA affiliate in Vermont, said the poll reflects some unexpected optimism in the workplace. “While you can’t predict a significant post-war economic rebound on the basis of worker optimism alone,” McAndrew said, “the positive effects of a confident work force should not be discounted.”The survey also showed that most workers believe there has not been an increase in workplace discrimination or harassment against Arab-Americans, Muslims, or workers of Middle Eastern descent as a result of America’s decision to take military action in Iraq. “This is good news,” said McAndrew, “but it is incumbent upon employers to see that the situation does not degrade as events unfold in the Middle East. While Vermont enjoys a well-deserved reputation for tolerance of a diversity of opinion, heightened emotions and fear sparked by constant news of the war can lead to insensitive workplace conduct.”The ELA poll is believed to be the first national survey in which workers were questioned on the impact of war on the workplace just a few days before the fighting erupted. Of those polled by the research firm of Reed, Haldy McIntosh & Associates, 84% said they are not worried about losing their jobs because of the war with Iraq. Of the nearly 1000 Americans contacted by researchers, almost 40% said they personally know someone in their workplace who has been or is likely to be deployed. Highlights of the survey include:· 84% said they are not worried about losing their jobs as a result of the war; 6% said they think they might lose their jobs; 9% don’t have a strong opinion either way and 1% had no opinion.· 89% believe they can openly express opinions about the war that differ from the views of their boss without facing retaliation. Only 2% said they thought that a dissenting opinion would invite retaliation.· 81% said they were not more worried now than in the aftermath of 9/11/01 about losing their jobs; 10% said they were more worried about job loss now than after the terrorist attack; 8% don’t have a strong opinion either way; and 1% had no opinion.· 78% said they do not believe that talk of the war in the workplace would adversely affect productivity and efficiency.· 81% of those surveyed do not think there has been an increase in discrimination or harassment against Arab-Americans, Muslims or people of Middle Eastern descent in the workplace since the threat of war; 6% said there has been an increase; 9% said they don’t have a strong opinion either way; and 4% either had no opinion or believed the question did not apply to their circumstances.Finally, the poll revealed that workers were deeply divided over whether the government should be given special powers to prohibit strikes during time of war, McAndrew said.Specifically, 24% support federal intervention to ban labor strikes during times of war; 43% oppose federal intervention; 29% don’t have a strong opinion either way; and 4% had no opinion.Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew’s Employment Law Group counsels institutional, private, non-profit and public sector employers on a full range of employment issues including fair employment practices, immigration, and workplace safety. The firm is based in Burlington, Vermont, and has established practices in business planning, financial services, health care, education law, insurance and estate planning, in addition to employment law. For more information, visit www.dinse.com(link is external) or call 802-864-5751.Dinse, Knapp is the exclusive Vermont representative for the Employment Law Alliance, the world’s largest integrated, global practice network comprised of premier, independent law firms distinguished for their practice in employment and labor law. There are member firms in every jurisdiction in the United States and major commercial centers throughout the world. For further information, including access to the survey charts and graphs, visit www.employmentlawalliance.com(link is external)last_img

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