Disappointing and Optimism Fading
Salary Worker, West Deptford, NJ - July 22, 2015
When first working here, I was optimistic about the company. But, as the many years progressed, especially recently, the scales seemed to have fallen off my eyes and I see everything differently. I’m not sure about the other Johnson Matthey sites, but the West Deptford Chemicals and Refining plant is a very callous environment and because of no accountability paired with upper management’s lack of knowledge of what truly happens, there is always someone pointing a blaming finger and that usually leads to someone being let go or even forced to early retirement. Don’t count on your many years/seniority working there, because if one mistake is made they are very spiteful and will dismiss you (unless you have close ties with people like HR, you can essentially get away with murder.)
There is very unhealthy treatment to the people they should be valuing, especially to the union employees: health insurance is not as comprehensive as salary’s; as of currently, when first working there, they are not given paid vacation until after working there a full year and only given 5 days of which you are forced to use 3 of the 5 days for the company’s yearly shutdown/maintenance; the safety aspect is truly disappointing (there is a belief that many areas of the plant are safe, but if you take a closer look, you realize that it’s all an illusion); and they work in extreme temperatures (they have no system to effectively cool or heat up the plant). The only benefit for union is you have the potential of a higher pay, usually more than the wage of salary employees. Due to lack of dispensing proper knowledge to those in training, as well as employee shortages, has forced many salary workers to put in a considerable amount of hours over the 40 hour work week without those extra hours being paid (this is common practice in departments, such as engineering or IT where usual work weeks consist of 50-60+ hour work weeks). With all the money this company makes, you would think working hard has its benefits, but raises are not given to deserving employees and some past salary employees have been forced into early retirement.
HR does little in helping the employees and many feel they cannot truly confide in the department without any repercussions (more like the Department of Corrections). They should stop focusing on what new food event (wing off, bake off, meatball challenge, etc) they can come up with and start focusing on why many departments have high turnover (union production workers, quality control lab, security, etc). Honestly, times were better with the previous HR manager.
As mentioned previously, Upper Management really requires more knowledge as to what is truly occurring in their site rather than just sitting at their desks strategizing- the best way is to immerse themselves in every department’s environment. If they want to make safety a priority, they need more involvement because as of now, although there is talk of safety being top priority there is inadequate action to improving it.
Those with little knowledge base/experience are placed into decision making roles, such as supervisors/managers, and their choices usually are not the best. Overall, there is insufficient training for most of the departments.
The pros working at this company- some of the benefits and if you are fortunate to have a good team you work with of which I am very grateful for.
In closing, it’s very interesting that several employees just this past year, have left. But, with all the problems that have evolved, I am not at all surprised.