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March 28, 2003
Survey: Employees Don't Fear War Will Lead to Layoffs
With the United States at war in Iraq, a vast majority of American workers do not believe the conflict poses a direct threat to their job security, according to a new survey from the Employment Law Alliance. In addition, nearly 90 percent said voicing a dissenting opinion with their boss on the war would not lead to retaliation in the workplace.

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Of those polled, 84 percent said they are not worried about losing their job because of the war with Iraq. Of the nearly 1000 Americans contacted by researchers of Reed, Haldy McIntosh & Associates, almost 40 percent said they personally know someone in their workplace who has been or is likely to be deployed. Details of the survey include:

  • 6 percent said they think they might lose their job
  • 89 percent believe they can openly express opinions about the war that are different from the view of their boss without facing retaliation. Only 2 percent said they thought that a dissenting opinion would invite retaliation.
  • 81 percent said they were not more worried now than in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 about losing their jobs; 10 percent said they were more worried about job loss now than after the terrorist attack. And 78 percent said they do not believe that talk of the war in the workplace would adversely affect productivity and efficiency.
  • 24 percent support federal intervention to ban strikes during times of war; 43 percent oppose federal intervention.

"The American worker has already seen their workplace go through significant change, including large scale layoffs, and they are expressing confidence that the war in itself will not cause another wave of downsizing," says Stephen J. Hirschfeld, chief executive of the alliance. "The big picture at the moment includes a landmark stock market rally, reforms in corporate governance and other signs that the economy can rebound."

Hirschfeld also says the results suggest that employers are being diligent to promote a workplace where there can be a free flowing exchange of ideas without fear of retribution, and that debate and discussion can carry on without impeding productivity.


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