People over business
After reading The Star-Ledger article, “MetLife to shutter Somerset office, move jobs to North Carolina” (March 8), I couldn’t help but wonder how such a large, successful corporation, spending $400 million over 20 years to promote its brand on the new Meadowlands stadium, can justify closing its Somerset office and putting as many as 1,500 out of work. While the $100 million-plus in tax breaks and incentives it will get to move to North Carolina makes business sense, it doesn’t make “people” sense.
MetLife likes to tout itself as a caring, people-centered company that provides its customers “guarantees for the ‘if’ in ‘life.’ ” Apparently, it forgot about its employees. The families of the 1,500-plus New Jerseyans who will lose their jobs if they choose not to move have no guarantees.
Crista Pontilena, Hackensack
Crista, if any of those 1500 employees had decided to quit their jobs with MetLife for a better paying or more enjoyable job, retirement, etc., should they be condemned for not caring about people? MetLife is run and managed by people, too, and they have no guarantees that any of their employees will not do just that. In fact, every year millions of employees quit their jobs to move on to better life opportunities. Employers have the same moral right to move on when better business opportunities arise.
Nature provides no "guarantees" for either employer or employee. Neither is there any such thing as "People over Business," unless you believe that some people should be guaranteed a living at other people's expense.
There is no conflict between people and business. A job is a two-way street, and both the businessman and the employee have a moral right to terminate an employment contract, because each has a fundamental right to pursue his own self-interest. Neither has an automatic moral claim on the other, beyond the terms of any mutually beneficial voluntary employment contract. Your one-sided focus on MetLife is grossly unfair.
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