Saturday, July 22, 2017

Conservatives love to blast government for heavy-handed policy.

Robert Reich

In reality, it’s big corporations that are imposing increasingly harsh and arbitrary constraints on workers.

As Elizabeth Anderson explains, companies today have unprecedented power over the lives of their employees (unprecedented since World War II).

1. Managers tightly regulate mundane aspects of the workplace like bathroom breaks and casual conversation. Apple conducts security inspections on retail employees before they can leave for the day.
2. Companies can charge workers more for health care if they fail to diet or exercise.
3. Some employers even pressure their employees to support political candidates and causes.
4. Outright wage theft is also on the rise--at least two-thirds of low-wage workers have fallen victim.
5. Non-compete clauses make it impossible for many workers to get better jobs.
How have we gotten to this point? As corporations have amassed economic and political power they've successfully lobbied to erode workers' rights, eliminate safety protections, and weaken enforcement. Companies have also cracked down on labor unions, depriving workers of a voice against abusive practices.

Every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and have the basic right to organize for better wages and working conditions. Without this, our democracy is a sham.


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