American Workers Believe Iraq War Poses No Threat to their Job Security, according to Miller Canfield, Employment Law Alliance Poll
With war raging in Iraq, the latest national "America At Work" poll commissioned by the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), the world’s largest network of employment and labor lawyers, to which Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. belongs, shows that the vast majority of American workers do not believe the conflict poses a direct threat to their job security.
The poll is believed to be the first national survey in which workers were questioned just a few days before the fighting erupted on the impact of war in the workplace.
"The overall results of the poll are encouraging," said Thomas P. Hustoles, labor and employment attorney at Miller Canfield. "The vast majority of those polled expressed confidence that the war in itself will not cause another wave of downsizing. The poll also reported that an overwhelming 89% felt that they could openly express their views about the war without the fear of reprisals. It is important, especially during war time, for employers to expressly welcome diverse opinions and keep an open line of communication at all times."
Of those polled by the research firm of Reed, Haldy, McIntosh & Associates, 84% said they are not worried about losing their job because of the war with Iraq. Of the nearly 1,000 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 job as a result of the war; 6% said they think they might lose their job; 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 are different from the view 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.
- 24% support federal intervention to ban strikes during times of war; 43% oppose federal intervention; 29% don’t have a strong opinion either way; and 4% had no opinion.
"Clearly, American workers are optimistic," said Hustoles. "They were divided, however, over whether special regulations should take effect in times of war." Stephen J. Hirschfeld, CEO of the ELA, added, "Contracts in a variety of industries – particularly those that may be defense related – can be very difficult to negotiate while America is locked in battle and public opinion cannot be overlooked."
The Employment Law Alliance consists of member firms in every jurisdiction in the United States and major commercial centers throughout the world. Miller Canfield is the ELA representative for the state of Michigan. For further information, including access to the survey charts and graphs, visit www.employmentlawalliance.com.
The 300-attorney law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. was established in Detroit in 1852 and has offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Howell, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Monroe, and Troy, Michigan. Other offices are located in New York City, Pensacola, Florida, Washington, D.C., Windsor, Ontario, and in Gdynia, Katowice, and Warsaw, Poland.