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Miners in Chile: Do co-workers stick together?

The upcoming months are sure to bring all kinds of stories to light about what went on with the miners in Chile during their period underground. No doubt, tempers flared when the temperatures rose. But from what we've seen so far, what we would like to believe, these 33 guys stuck together, giving each other the encouragement to survive in this horrific scenario.

So, it's interesting to me that the same day the miners were rescued, Met Life revealed its study on co-workers. I've learned over the years that co-workers play a huge role in your work/ life balance and job satisfaction.  They can make you love a job or make you miserable at work. The MetLife study looked at whether coworkers would take a pay cut to save your job. It found ethnicity factors in:

  • 77% of African Americans would be willing to take a 10% pay cut to prevent layoffs at their company. 77% of Asians would follow suit, as would 56% of the Hispanic population and 69% of Whites.
  • Hispanic and Asian individuals were more likely to report taking on more responsibility at work due to staffing cutbacks over the last two years (61% for each group) compared to 53% of African Americans and 55% of Whites.
  • These two groups are also more stressed about performing all the tasks their jobs require compared to two years ago: 61% of Asians and 57% of Hispanics reported increased stress, compared to 55% of African Americans and 53% of Whites.

At workplaces across the United States during the last year, we've seen co-workers step up and take pay cuts to help save each others jobs. Initially, I thought it was admirable. Now, I'm not so sure. I worry that employers are taking advantage of co-worker generosity. That they will force people to work for less and eventually trim staff anyway.

I also wonder: What's the motive behind saving our co-worker's job --- is it that we realize the work will land on our shoulders if our co-worker gets let go? Does that make our action any less worthy?

What are your thoughts on MetLife's findings? Would you take a pay cut to save a co-worker's job? If so, does the amount of the pay cut weigh into your answer?