Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Editor’s view: Are companies becoming too large to care about their employees?

Thursday, February 11, 2016 by The Press in Opinion

Many years ago, I made a conscious decision not to work for a company that became so large the employees became lost in the increasing profits.

Wall Street and corporate America are not for me.

I remember working at a nursing home where the director would put his arm around me and discuss our college alma maters’ football rivalry.

He treated other employees in a similar manner, but unfortunately the time came when he retired.

The new leadership didn’t even say thank you to the workers when, one day, we had to respond to a series of dangerous, life-threatening incidents at the facility.

I need and appreciate the personal connection with my employer.

If a situation should arise at the Lehigh Valley Press weekly newspapers, my bosses are just a phone call or email away, even at night and on weekends.

My husband was employed for more than 30 years at a restaurant where the owner welcomed a young man with learning disabilities to work in the kitchen.

At the beginning of “John’s” employment, he was shadowed by a trainer who helped explain his responsibilities to him and how to perform the various jobs he was required to perform.

Under the watchful and supportive eyes of a small group of fellow employees and the owner, “John” successfully tackled and learned to take out the garbage, wash dishes, clean the floor and do other kitchen work.

Recently, social media and various news outlets brought to light a situation at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, South Whitehall, where a young man with learning disabilities, Chris Emery, was not invited back for a 13th year of employment.

I remember taking my boys to Dorney many years ago when it was truly a community-centered, family amusement park.

I understand yearly evaluations. I understand dismissal for cause.

But, for the life of me, I do not understand a company requiring an interview (see Debbie Galbraith’s story on Chris, page A15) after 12 honored years of employment.

Building a train out of Legos? You have got to be kidding me.

Something has “possessed” the hearts and minds of Dorney officials, and it is not the “evil spirits” of a roller coaster.

I would welcome a Letter to the Editor from park management explaining why a human being, a loyal employee, could be treated in such a despicable manner.

Let this unfortunate incident be a wake-up call for all companies, both large and small, in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Your most valuable asset is your employees.

Without them, you would not exist.

Deb Palmieri

editor

Parkland Press

Northwestern Press