If employees are forbidden to talk about politics, why are their CEOs doing it?


By Alfredo Ortiz for RealClearMarkets

Southwest Airlines “does not forgive employees who share their personal political views while on the job.” Or at least that’s what company said after a presumably used pilot the political euphemism “Let’s Go Brandon” on a recent flight.

“Let’s Go Brandon,” a misinterpretation of the phrase “f— Joe Biden,” has become a rallying cry for Republicans who aren’t thrilled with the incumbent’s performance. The phrase meant nothing a few weeks ago, but now some on the left take it as a threat.

The phrase clearly became a dividing song and Southwest announced it would investigate the situation. (It is likely that the pilot actually said “Let’s go brave. “)

Either way, it’s perfectly reasonable that Southwest doesn’t want its employees to talk about controversial political issues. It is very likely that other companies would have responded the same way. After all, a driver’s voice does not reflect the values ​​of every single employee of the company.

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Companies can say that employees should do their jobs, serve their customers, and leave politics out, but they should also keep their CEOs at the same level.

CEOs have taken on the responsibility of becoming political spokespersons for whatever liberal cause is in vogue. Release of managing directors foment affirmations of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during the protests following the death of George Floyd. They condemn entire state legislatures for pass electoral reform laws or restrictions on abortion.

They even hire political activists like Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson for the company.

Major League Baseball the entire state of Georgia punished withdrawing the All-Star Game from Atlanta because the state’s election laws upset Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has since been silent about the World Series being played in Atlanta. It didn’t matter if a Major League Baseball employee actually supported Georgia’s electoral laws. Manfred has decided to speak for the whole championship.

In response to the alleged “Let’s Go Brandon” announcement, Southwest issued a star warning to his employees saying that “public expression of personal opinion while on duty is unacceptable.” The company said it “does not tolerate any behavior that encourages division”.

But it’s not true.

The company has made press releases on its fight against global warming. Regularly update the audience on his diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, including its efforts to double “the percentage of racial diversity“In senior management and make investments in” minority companies “.

It said the riots after Floyd’s death it should be “expected”.

Go ahead and bring these topics to your Thanksgiving table this year and let me know if those topics “encourage division”.

Businesses have to decide what they want. Either everyone should vent their political grievances at work or nobody should, including CEOs.

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Southwest is far from the worst offender when it comes to talking politics while silencing employees. Many CEOs go much further, and it is often conservative employees who receive corporate censorship. But free speech policies should be the same for everyone.

Employees shouldn’t be silenced when executives bounce in the news and talk about divisive policies that have nothing to do with their business operations or protect the jobs they provide their staff.

Corporations do not follow their own advice. These executives should avoid mixing their business with divisive political issues and focus on customer service in the same way they order their employees to do.

The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” comes from frustration with the current political system. If companies continue to maintain a double standard of “free speech for me but not for you,” they can expect more incidents like this to happen.

Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.

The views expressed by contributors and / or content partners are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.


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