I have seen the future of the U.S. workforce and it's in the eyes of an aging airline pilot I ran into on Monday.
He was friendly enough, but worried enough to remind me when I asked how business was that it could be better and that he himself could be a lot better.
"I just agreed to a 20 percent pay cut," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because it beats a 100 percent pay cut," he replied.
His story is not unique in the airline industry. Gosh, it's not that unique in any industry. Bosses' costs are pinched, so they're pinching their workers.
At General Motors (search) they're freaking out about rocketing pension costs — as yet, not enough to ship them out to a government agency, but enough to get their workers thinking if they don't come up with some concessions, who knows, their bosses just might.
Pilots and factory workers — they seem an odd pairing. But it's an odd world.
They say fear can make a worker do almost anything to hang onto his job. I just fear for the boss foolish enough to think such intimidation guarantees he'll always hang onto his job.
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