For the rest of the story see the following link:
http://www.salon.com/2015/06/13/the_ins … r_partner/
The case is being made that the Conservatives praise of the free-market is just so much crap.
We need more regulation of business practices in regard to labor, not less. The invisible hand of the free market slaps far to many American workers in the face,
Its taking off like wildfire in fast food markets, larger retail outlets, etc. Why should we not expect this abuse, it is what corporate America does best.
Imagine being forced to remain on call, without compensation for that time.
You work part time hours with no benefits, while the employer ties up your time sitting by the phone, being available. You can't work another parttime job, go to dinner, or be drunk.
When I lived in Hawaii, it was well known that the hotel chains hired in this way and stipulated that the employee was on call and could not work for another hotel in the area. This philosophy is finding itself all over the place here on the mainland. It works for the employer, who punishes employees who complain about availability and work hours.
Conservatives say, 'find another job', the reality is that they are all doing this and all the big shots are singing from the same songbook.
If this is not slavery, it sure does approach it. We need a shakeup of Labor laws akin to those that we had during the first half of the last century. Conservatives always seen to give these robbers the benefit of the doubt, well I don't.
This practice is well established in the UK but known as "zero hour contracts".
It is totally destructive of economies though it makes companies a lot of money.
It doesn't just evolve having to wait by the phone for everybody, many workers actually have to report to the employers premises and wait in the canteen (where they can spend money they haven't earned yet) and hope that they are given some work before they go off call again.
It is worse than slavery, at least a slave owner had an investment in his slaves and would keep them at, at least a minimum level of subsistence and provide shelter, however rudimentary.
The modern "slave owner" is required to do none of this.
"It is worse than slavery"
I think an actual slave from our past would laugh in your face at such a statement. And then probably follow it with a punch.
Do you really think so!
Would you like to explain why having a guaranteed meal and a roof over your head is worse than not having those things?
An actual slave from our past could at least rely on accommodation and some food. People on zero hour contracts in this country are guaranteed neither. Some are also bound to not take employment with anybody else. How can you possibly endorse that, Wilderness?
Thanks John, looks like we have the same problem on either side of Atlantic, encroaching exploitation of working people. I just thought that Britain had a better control over the reach and excersses of capitalism relative to us, here. So. here it fits in with a disdain for public higher education for the masses as we need to keep work drones ignorant and content with their lot. It would be a little difficult to have them aspire to anything else outside of being available to get more hours on the rock quarry so that they may eat and provide basic needs.
Grossly spinning and exaggerating terms and events does your cause no good. The "slavery" you refer to is not, and does not even distantly approach, the slavery practiced in this country in the past. To use the term for a mutually accepted contract for "on call" work does a great disservice to those that actually suffered through being a slave.
Having said that, the practice is abhorrent and I would perform such duties just long enough to find something else.
On those terms one could call slavery a "mutually accepted contract".
Sure. Every slave, chained to the whipping post or separated from wife and children against their will has agreed to be put in that place. Or hunted down and killed should you leave your assigned job.
I read an account the other day of an ex-slave, eventually freed, who was allowed to marry and have kids. Allowed, mind you - the owner of he and his wife had to giver permission. But it wasn't long until the wife of the couple was put on the auction block and sold, to be forcibly taken away and never to be seen again. It was a facet of slavery I'd never contemplated.
That's slavery, not voluntarily working a job you don't like, or voluntarily working for a wage you feel is beneath you and perhaps not enough to eat on.
It's sad when we sanitize the meaning of words, the reality of events or actions, to make a political point. It's even worse when that spun meaning takes hold and becomes common usage as we forget what really happened. You want reasonable terminology, reflecting the reality of the event, call it "voluntary servitude" or something, and don't rely on the negative connotations of "slavery" to exaggerate what is actually happening rather than accepting the reality of it.
Wilderness, the words are used for emphasis, if in actually the situations is not in fact slavery. But these so called mutual rip off contracts are steps back that direction. The big shots you always support know that slavery is illegal so why not go for the next best thing?
"voluntary servitude", now thats got a ring to it! How do we distinguish that from a 'regular job'?
"voluntary servitude" must be the oxymoron of the week, if not the year!
You don't, which is reality. If you accept an "on call" position voluntarily, without being physically forced to do so, it IS a regular job. Nasty, ugly, unwanted and hated, but YOUR choice. It is not slavery by any stretch of the imagination.
But how can it be "choice" when your only choice is between servitude and destitution is a nasty ugly unwanted and hated job?
You either take or not. Unlike slaves, where they are physically forced to labor for nothing. Pretending that an ugly job is forced is just that; pretending, while ignoring that you have the freedom to walk away from it. Unlike slaves.
It's a choice. No one is putting a gun to your head or a whip to your back for not working.
WHO loves their job? Very few, I would think. The choice between working and not working is a choice everyone has.
I do accept the reality of it, you don't.
Slave owners had a lot of money invested in their slaves so while some were cruel, others not so.
Just because modern day practices are not yet as extreme as earlier ones doesn't mean that they won't gradually creep back there if we allow them to.
What is voluntary about doing a job that you don't want to and cant afford to do when the alternative is destitution?
If you can't tell the difference between being chained or losing a family to the whim of your owner and holding a job you don't want or like, I feel for you.
It's a matter of degree. If you cant see that zero hour contracts are the start of a slippery slope that leads back to such practices that even you condemn then I feel for you.
I absolutely feel that your zero hour contracts (which are, I believe, illegal in the states) are a travesty of justice.
But it's that "slippery slope" that bothers me. Pretending that accepting a job offer is identical to actually slavery is the beginning of that slope. The more we act like slavery is something else, the more acceptable it becomes and slowly we go back to actual slavery while making excuses that "it's for the good of the slave" or "the owners take good care of slaves" or some other such crap.
According to the link in the OP, they don't seem to be illegal in the US.
Exactly, the more we act that slavery is something else the more acceptable it becomes.
We already see many arguing that zero hour contracts are acceptable, even for the good of those forced to work them.
Wilderness, come tell that to the many disabled people in this country. Many have died due to our govt. withdrawing their benefits because they're 'fit for work' Yep, we're talking terminal cancer sufferers, people with learning disabilities and a host of other serious conditions. And then, just to add insult to injury, our beloved free market worshippers suggest they should work for below minimum wage. If that isn't servitude, then what is?
I'm not sure I'm following your intent here. What does government charity have to do with being a slave or not? Minimum wage? Or even voluntary servitude?
It is not gross at all but quite accurate and is the beginning of a malevolent trend. Exploiting a person's labor and asking for work without compensation was what I considered slavery to be, Be even with the "peculiar institution' as practiced here in America, the master had a bottom line obligation to minimally provide food and clothing. While you see this as an abhorrent practice, you always take the side of those that practice it, why is that?
You seem to fallen into your own trap, changing slavery into a much more sanitized version of what actually happened. Pretending that being a slave is no worse than working a job you hate. "Forgetting" that not showing up for work for a slave was a killing offense - that slaves have no rights, none whatsoever. Not to wear clothes, not to have a family, not to eat.
And if you can actually twist "...I would perform such duties just long enough to find something else." into taking the side of those that practice on call employment for no better reason than it's cheap (there ARE other valid reasons, however) you can certainly spin better than I ever could.
Cleaning the city sewer lines is a job I hate, but it is a job that properly compensates me per hour of work or a salary. The labor agreements I speak of provide no such thing, when you finally get hours, it is at minimum wage. So, if I divide the total hours of the time on call and time actually working, what is my compensation? $4.00/hour?
Why you conservative types never seem to connect the dots, note the trends and see where they are leading is always beyond me.
There is less social and class mobility now than ever before, This is another way we insure that unwashed rabble never get down from the treadmill.
No, you're still pretending that sitting at home watching TV is labor benefiting the employer and that he makes a profit off of. You know better - you are not producing a single thing he can sell.
And if you think you are not "properly benefited", then don't work there. You DO have that choice, unlike a slave. Government does NOT belong in the business of mandating wage levels, no matter how much the liberal mind thinks their labor is worth.
If you want mobility, get up, wash and get off the treadmill. Don't force others to pay you more than your labor is worth.
So you're saying it's acceptable for a boss to say "you will sit at home and watch TV. We wont pay you for doing that but don't you dare try and find somebody who will pay you to work for them"!
As I have consistently said that if you don't like the work to find something else, that statement doesn't make much sense.
Wilderness, you are coming off as the classic overseer.
What about the employee and his or her time, that could be spent in pursuits that gets them out of the rut that you so easily consign them to? Who knows, perhaps going to school to become a Wall street securities broker? The company and its benefit is not the be all/end all of the labor arrangement.
The point that is being made is that this 'model" is the mode for employment and it will be everywhere. Why should your corporate buddies compensate its employees anymore than they need to? When this becomes the model of employment anywhere, you take it or you starve?
I will be glad to go to a reference that show that 90 percent of the world's nations have some form of minimum wage to protect its labor. Perhaps all these people know something that you do not? Much like your conservative kinsman attitude about Climate Change, the whole world is subject to the law of gravity with the exception of that little rubber ball in your hand.
Since your buddies are after the minimum wage and to decimate unions, I am concerned that these people are going to be paid less than they worth. I don't trust your free-market or your corporate buddies to make that call....
Good point. Should you choose to sit at home and wait for a phone call, perhaps you should be going to school on-line and improving your labor skills.
As far as all jobs becoming on-call; don't be ridiculous. Relatively few jobs require that kind of on-call and many of those are necessary. My son, for instance, signed on as a forest fire fighter - when there's no fire, he sat at home and waited (he also found other work after only a couple of weeks).
"...people are going to be paid less than they worth". That's a problem all right, when you decide that YOU will assign worth to labor, without having the faintest idea what that labor is actually valued at, what the product of that labor is or what that product is worth. Or are you actually assigning worth to people, as if they were some kind of chattel, instead of a market value of the labor they perform?
No, it is you who is assigning worth to people as if they were some kind of chattel. You are saying they are only worth what they can make for somebody else.
Sorry, John, but people have zero intrinsic value. Or infinite, take your choice - the very question is nonsense.
But what they produce DOES have value. It just isn't always what they THINK it is, or what the actual, real value is.
So people are chattels as far as you are concerned!
"But what they produce DOES have value."
See the bolded part? Unless you're assuming that the car Joe builds for Ford IS joe, it's hard to understand why you would make such a silly claim.
I don't get you, Wilderness. It's as if you think that the poorest people in the world deserve to live in poverty and have no value whatsoever if what they produce isn't making their masters enough profit. And, who defines who is and who is not worth a living wage for an honest day's work?
In this screwy contract you have to be available, how do you go to school?
As for 'on call' its growing as a cheap source of labor for those that just as soon not pay at all. I am not talking about fire fighters and those on call for verified emergecies, like your son. While he is available, is he going to forest fires routinely? I am talking about Walmart, Burger King etc. People who have real jobs with this requirement are salaried professionals working in the public sector, a far cry from McDonalds.
As for your last paragraph, John, in his last comment, has made the point
better than I could.
You go to school by sitting in front of a computer at your kitchen table while waiting for the call.
I realize that you are not discussing that handful of jobs that have a reasonable reason for making it on-call. I just kind of threw that in as an aside - that SOME on-call jobs are reasonable that way. And no, I don't ever see on-call requirements applied to professionals other than those few that have a real reason beyond the bottom line. Interestingly, that same son once had a job as a teen in a restaurant - young enough we had to take him to work. The third time he showed up and they promptly sent him home because no one was eating right then he quit (partly because I said if he couldn't work I couldn't drive him any more).
Then I missed it (John's point) as he claimed I view people as chattel when I made it very clear that I do not. Twice, in fact. I'll even quote once more your own statement that seems to indicate people have an intrinsic value: "...people are going to be paid less than they worth", which I disagreed with.
How do you do that if you have to wait in the works canteen to be offered work?
I know that it is possible to go to school by computer, but is it desirable? Of course, professionals willl never be subject to 'piece work' labor force policies. But I do see it, until it is outlawed as the model for service economy sort of jobs, employees recieve no benifits working part time, they are avoalable as if they were full time. Do you think that it would be unreasonable to pay them something for their time on call? Because the time of each of us is a finite resource, it intrisincally has value whenever someone would tie me up doing something other than what I want to do with it.
I'm all for ending corporate welfare. Things like checks for not growing crops must end.
But tax breaks are not "corporate welfare"; they are politicians doing social engineering where it is not so easily apparent (that and outright payback for campaign funds). And that, too, should stop. Things like tax breaks for hiring disabled people or building a facility in a poor area.
Don't think we'll get anywhere, Credence - we're too far apart on what the role of government should be. I want it gone as much as possible; you want as much control as possible and those two just don't mix. Although I WILL say that you and I both are willing to compromise, so maybe it's possible to some degree after all! smile
I wanted to reply to this, Wilderness, as I can't find space in the other thread. The form of social engineering for corporate welfare is tranfering wealth from the poor and middle class to the weathy via the tax code, just as insidious, if not more, than wealth transfers to the poor.
I have never diguised the fact that I am a notorious lefty, I appreciate your participation as I can assess the counterpoint from the 'other side'.
Government is necessary, as the foundation of civilization the basic being the weak are protected from the strong. Thomas Jefferson once said that within his time it was possible for a well educated man to have a grasp of all the disciplines known in the world. Try doing that today. When we had the meltdown in 2008, the SEC revealed that the practice of using derivatives by wall street traders went right over the head of federeal regulators there to control Wall Street excess. We have 300 million people here, interactions between them with all this technology is far to complicated without government and regulation.
I want just as much government as necessary to pay for shared services and what is needed to keep the players honest, as government is supposed to represent the people, the private sector is only interested in the bottom line and the profit motive. The hunter/gathering days of our culture is past. I see Government as a benefit and not an evil, and it would be better still if we can get all of the private sector(money peddling, lobbies, etc) influence away from its proper deliberation of the people's business.
Well, perhaps that's the bottom line - I see government as an evil. A necessary one, to be sure, and of very limited but still real benefit, but still an evil.
What I don't see the proper role of government as, is a nanny. An extra mommy/daddy to make sure that we all do the "right" thing, and that's exactly what the liberal mind sees it as. As near a total control as possible, because the citizens it governs (all of them, not just evil business) are but children and incapable of taking care of themselves.
How, (and why), did these abused workers get these jobs in the first place? Is the pay such that it is worth the abuse of being on call? Or is this practice a changing of previous work schedules... as in an already employed worker's job used to be on a regular schedule, but now has been changed to an on-call schedule?
If the worker got one of these jobs during a search for employment... shouldn't they keep on searching, (even while on-call)?
I know that half-a-loaf is better than none, but if someone found that half-loaf while searching for a full-loaf... can't they keep on searching?
Or... the employer could see the wisdom of the enlighten's arguments and just get rid of these abusive on-call jobs and make do with their regularly scheduled employees. Even if that means not even a half-loaf for the needy workers willing to accept one.
After reading this thread, it seems that one side is arguing that a little is better than nothing, and the other appears to advocate that if it can't meet a worker's needs than it shouldn't exist.
Hmm... a small paycheck or no pay check, decisions, decisions.
Here is a ps. for you Cred, from your linked article;
"Many of the surveyed workers are likely to be parents, with the median age of 36 (the typical age of someone working in the district). They are also employed by grocery stores or large retailers such as Walmart and Target. Maintenance and custodial workers can be impacted by these business practices as well."
... 36 years old with kids, and you are working these kind of jobs as a primary source of income... I would think another important point to address would be the life-choices, (or the value of their abilities), that put these folks in this dilemma.
Trouble is GA that a lot of these jobs started with a normal pay check that have turned into small and even none existent pay checks.
I certainly cannot speak to the individuals circumstances, but if we were having this conversation a century ago, say 1915, could you say that those people doing piece work in tenement housing with whole families including children working for pennies, should consider staying with that until they found a better job?
There are labor laws for a reason, I am not willing to give the private sector unlimited control of labor arrangements, it was not permitted in the last century and it certainly cannot be permitted now. That is why we have minimum wage, child labor laws and protection for the worker. The "Right" wouild love to dismantle these things and once more have the burgeosie in a position to have its hirelings begging for its patronage knowing that its labor force have few choices, really.
I think that it is unethical, but as to if and when anything will be done about it remains to be seen.
I have an idea for anyone who feels a slave to the corporate a- holes that have financed the De- regulation by government of most business' , Do like I did . Start your own company , go to work for YOU, yourself . Get it ? No more "slavery ". It's not that hard if you have any job talent at all . How much you grow in your endeavors is directly relevant to how much you put into it .
by Scott Belford 11 months ago
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