The recent troubles between labor and management at United Parcel Service are indicative of the quickly changing landscape in American business today. Because of the recession of the late '80s and early '90s--where thousands of workers were pushed out of secure, full-time positions into temporary, part-time ones--we now have a two-class system of employees. One group is comprised of stable full-time workers who enjoy a full range of company benefits and perks; the other is made up of a growing pool of unstable, low-wage workers who are often shut out of the benefits that their full-time coworkers take for granted.
The result? A growing rift between the full-timers and the part-timers, the haves and the have-nots. And when the tension that this rift creates boils over, as it has in the case of the UPS strike, you're left with an organization in disarray and with a bottom line that can quickly swing from the black into the red.
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