RadioShack Fires Workers Electronically
Last Tuesday, 400 workers at RadioShack’s headquarters were fired. But, instead of it being done face-to-face they got the message via email.
RadioShack said it had informed workers in July that layoffs were coming and they would be notified “electronically.” Being a consumer electronics retailer, it does make sense in a perverse sort of way.
The reaction to RadioShack’s method of terminating employees has drawn widespread criticism.
Bruce Raynor, of the labor union Unite Here, told Forbes, “It’s an outrageous way to treat human beings. What’s next? Eulogies? People don’t need to come to a funeral; we’ll do it by e-mail.”
Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University, said, “That they’re (RadioShack management) not willing to look them in the eye is true disrespect.”
As to whether RadioShack needed to let go so many people is hardly in dispute. The company has performed miserably for years and needs to bring costs in line with sales. The method RadioShack management chose to pare its workforce, however, not only showed a lack of respect for ex-employees but destroyed any illusion it values its remaining workers.
Discussion Question: What do you see as the consequences (if any) for RadioShack arising from its decision to fired people by email?