Sunday, January 22, 2006

Got Control? (!)

Got Control? (!) Posted by Picasa

Why the flap over bottled water? In the midst of employee complaints about management-orchestrated retaliation, intimidation, and harassment, increasing power outages, run away contracts, and a union that finds it more fun staffing managers and cutting lucrative deals at the utility, bottled water is nothing. Until the utility gets under control, drinking bottled water might be the safest thing for the employees to do.

Recently, every Board meeting has been grueling. For all their spending and lackluster performance, top executives send underlings to the podium rather than risk taking responsibility for what they have done.

For two and a half months, the Board has praised managers for being straight forward about their problems. But each meeting, there are problems anew – layer upon layer of mismanagement.

For the last several weeks, employees have come forward complaining of high-level mismanagement and corruption. From the audience’s perspective, no one seemed to be bothered. Neither Assistant Managers Thomas Hokinson and Henry Martinez nor General Manager Ron Deaton turned around to look at employees who came to the podium to make their pleas for management reform.

Rather than management keeping the Board informed, it is these employees and Jeffrey Anderson, of LA Weekly, that are most abreast of the travails at the troubled Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. What is going on, you ask? Read the latest. DWP management is rife with scandal in All Charged Up. What it will take to save L.A.’s troubled utility?

Hopefully, Commissioners H. David Nahai and Edith Ramirez have realized that the first order of the day must be to diligently investigate the personnel mismanagement issues that have driven the utility’s personnel into hiding. No amount of overtime, no amount of pay increase, or confidential settlements is compensation enough for stealing employee dignity nor will it hide the fact that this management lacks the legitimacy or wherewithal to lead.

First, if it plans any improvement at the utility, the Board must enforce the zero tolerance policy on harassment and hostile working conditions. Reports of Union and management harassment upon employees are increasing. The easiest way to clear the ranks of illegitimate bullying managers and union agents is to strictly enforce the policy. Those who orchestrate, permit, or condone harassment, intimidation, coercion in the work place should be subject to immediate dismissal. Going after his own peers at DWP would surely give Rocky Delgadillo a boost in the polls.

We have had fanfares of investigative committees, reports, and proclamations. Viva the new DWP Board. Take control. Take action!


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