CEO Roundup—Merck CEO resigns from Trump council; U.S. workers describe hostile, taxing office environment

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier (right) has resigned from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council. (Reuters)

Merck CEO resigns from Trump council after lukewarm comments on white supremacy

CEO Kenneth Frazier of biopharmaceutical giant Merck, an African American, announced on August 14 that he would resign from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council— and implied strongly that the move was a result of Trump’s lukewarm response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly over the weekend, according to a report by Axios.. “America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," Frazier said. The president replied via Twitter: "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" (Axios)

Report: American workplace is physically and emotionally taxing

The American workplace is physically and emotionally taxing, with workers frequently facing unstable work schedules, unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions, and an often-hostile social environment, according to a new study, "Working Conditions in the United States," released on August 14. The findings stem from research conducted by Santa Monica, California-based RAND, Boston-based Harvard Medical School and Los Angeles-based UCLA. More than 25% of U.S. workers say they have too little time to do their jobs, with the complaint being most common among white-collar workers. In addition, workers say the intensity of work frequently spills over into their personal lives, with about 50% of respondents reporting that they perform some work in their free time. In fact, 33% of workers say they have no control over their schedule. And, despite much public attention focused on the growth of telecommuting, 78% of workers report they must be present at the office during regular business hours. Strikingly, more than 50% of Americans report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions—and almost 20% said they face an antagonistic or threatening social environment in the office. Younger and prime-aged women are the workers most likely to experience unwanted sexual attention, while younger men are more likely to experience verbal abuse. Finally, nearly 75% of America’s job force reports either intense or repetitive physical exertion on the job at least 25% of the time—and 20% report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions. The findings are from a survey of 3,066 adults who participate in the RAND American Life Panel, a nationally representative, computer-based sample of people from across the United States. The workplace survey was fielded in 2015 to collect detailed information across a broad range of working conditions in the American workplace, as well as details about workers and job characteristics. There was no comparative information for workers in other countries. (RAND)