Journalist Fred Clark objects to being forced to play a “musical chairs” game with his coworkers:
The core of my ethical dilemma here, rather is this: I am being asked to participate in, and to facilitate, harm to others.
This “track your time” assignment is designed to facilitate layoffs. It is designed, in other words, to harm two groups of people I am obliged not to harm: My co-workers and our readers.
Now, it’s important not to overdramatize this. “Track your time” isn’t in the same league as “inform on your neighbors to the secret police.” But it does belong to the same general category of participating in harm toward others in the hopes of reducing potential harm to oneself. And while the Two Bobs aren’t going to disappear anyone or have them locked away in a gulag to be tortured, they are planning to lay people off. The harm of that is real, tangible and substantial. Lives and livelihoods will be turned upside-down. Families will lose their homes. Marriages will be strained to the breaking point. That is the program and I am being asked to get with the program. I am being asked to cooperate with this.
Well, not asked, but told. Ordered, actually, to cooperate with this.
What would you do? Just how much would you be prepared to risk to stand up against corporate bullies justifying their paypackets by attacking the workers who actually produce their company’s products?
Given that it won’t make a lick of difference and they’re impervious to harm.