Originally Posted by Brianpore
Wondering who's going to chime in with "better then them not having a job at all, leaning skills to get a real/better job, etc, etc"...... anyone?
IMO though CEO vs. employee compensation is a really bad way to spin this article.
I'll chime in.
First off, let's be clear on what Goodwill is and what Goodwill is not. Goodwill is not a monolithic organization. It is composed of chapters that operate independently of each other. There are some good Goodwills and some bad Goodwills, just like there are good witches and bad witches. There have been some pretty big scandals at Goodwills. A chapter in Wisconsin--I believe that was the state--was racked by a huge embezzlement a few years back. There was one in California where the folks who ran it were engaged in organized skimming and made off with huge amounts of money that should have been going toward charitable endeavors. There have been instances in which Goodwill administrators have committed Medicaid fraud via government funded programs to help the developmentally disabled. Does that make all Goodwills bad? No. It means that there were some crooks who slipped through the cracks, usually due to lax oversight by boards of directors. To say that Goodwill is this or Goodwill is that is like saying Little League coaches are pedophiles because one guy turned out that way.
What's missing, critically, from these stories is the fact that the folks who are getting pennies per hour do not depend on their wages to live. They are getting SSI benefits because they are unemployable due to their disabilities. It doesn't make them lazy, it doesn't make them somehow inferior, it doesn't make them bad folks in any way. It simply means that they cannot get jobs on the open market. Should they just sit on their asses doing nothing? I don't think so, and I don't think that they think so.
I can only speak for the Goodwill where I live, but I can say, unequivocally, that whoever is writing this tripe has their proverbial head up their ass when it comes to the way they do business. Does the Goodwill here do time studies? Yes. Do they pay below prison wages? Yes. Do they also promote folks from sheltered workshops to work in stores? Very occasionally, yes, and that's a good thing. I've toured the sheltered workshop, I've studied the 990s (the equivalent of a 1040 for a 501(c)3) and I can't see anything remotely close to nefarious. Remember, we're talking folks who, for the most part, have profound disabilities--they recently put someone here at the entrance to offer a cart (are you listening Frenchy) to every shopper as they walk in. She's loud, she obviously has some kind of disability. She's also harmless, but she just ain't gonna get a job anywhere else. She's been there about a week and seems extremely happy, judging by the way she smiles every time I see her. Much as I hate carts, I can't hate her. To me, she's a reminder of the good things that Goodwill does. I should add that the Goodwill here provides paid vacation and health insurance for all employees in their stores, and they've done that for years.
If the blind guy in the article who hangs clothes for Goodwill doesn't like it, he is free to seek work elsewhere. My guess is, he's not going to find it because if he could find other work, he would have found other work. This is, end of the day, a capitalistic system, and we on this thread should understand that if we understand nothing else. My guess is that the blind guy is receiving SSI and that his benefit isn't reduced because he also works at Goodwill. It doesn't make him a crook, it doesn't make him a bad person, it doesn't make him a double dipper in any respect--in fact, he should be applauded. But it doesn't mean that he should be getting $10 an hour or whatever minimum wage is if he can only hang half the clothes that a sighted person can. Again, GW does time studies to determine rates of pay. That's fine by the government, and there are government regulators to guard against abuse and exploitation. Goodwill encourages that--read the statement that's included in a link embedded in one of the stories. The national chapter condemns any exploitation if any exploitation is going on and encourages that it be reported to proper authorities. So, the folks who have concerns should be calling the Department of Labor and Medicaid and whoever else is in charge of oversight. My guess is that reports have been made, given that folks are going to the media. And, maybe, something will come of those reports, if in fact they have been made. But these stories I've seen about exploitation strike me as hatchet jobs that tell just part of the story. Disabled workers exploited by charity with high-paid executives--it's an easy, sexy headline. The truth isn't nearly so dramatic, and that's why we're not reading it.