posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 03:20 PM
"The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I
told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!"
That's code for, "I can't exploit the French unions easily. That makes me so mad that I'll run at the mouth and make a spurious generalized claim
and avoid doing business there." Personally, I think it is the Mr. Taylors of America who need to be outsourced. We need to stop doing business
Many corporations and private companies use ethically questionable tactics to increase their profits. Even when it is recorded/demonstrated that
their profits are gaining significantly, they claim they are losing money. It is these practices that are a major contributing factor to the growing
trend of people's dependence on tax funded support systems.
For example, one basic tactic is to pay your employees the lowest wage possible, which is often the minimum wage, or close to it. It has been shown
that the minimum wage, or close to it, at 40hr/wk is not sufficient to live on at the most reasonable, rational, basic level without some
federal/state assistance. And that use of assistance increases dramatically if that worker has one or more children. Considering my state, CA, the
minimum wage is $8/hr. At 40hr/wk the net take home is around $1000/mo. Yet a one bedroom apt. in a depressed neighborhood rents for around
$500-600/mo. Then there are the utlility bills, phone bill, transportation costs (lightrail, bus, etc), and cost of grocieries. It's not a rational
living wage. But this assumes one could even get full time employment.
Another tactic of unethical companies is to not hire full time employees. Why? Because an employee working part time will not accrue enough "time
on the books" to qualify to use FMLA if they needed it. That's a win for the employer because it keeps people working even if they are sick. In
some states it was a requirement to give full timers benefits like paid sick leave, health benefits, paid vacation, etc. This tactic effectively
circumvents that, which is another win for the employer for obvious reasons. It also incentivizes the employee to pick up any extra shifts to make up
for the lack in hours, whether or not those shifts conflict with the employee's other obligations or needs such as child care, little Timmy's
birthday, a college class, or even sleep. In some companies you are required to accept a certain percentage of call-ins or you could be fired. Also,
this tactic often forces the person to pick up a second or third job if they can, in which case it often puts them in a scheduling conflict between
those jobs. For most normal people, this lifestyle/workstyle is unsustainable. At some point if the work hours don't change then most likely that
employee will drop one of their jobs and seek federal/state assistance (that's our tax dollars).
And still, a third common tactic is to eliminate positions and distribute those tasks onto the other remaining employees. What's better than 4
employees doing the work of 8, and with no compensation? And there's another added bonus! If one or more of those remaining employees can't each
do the work of 2 then the employer can claim that the employee is not working hard enough, efficiently enough, nor is completing tasks on time. This
lawfully justifies terminating that employee (who was being paid a fair wage). A new hire can then be paid an entry level wage and be required to
perform even more than the last one. That's a win, win, win situation for the company.
These tactics set up a situation where our tax dollars are literally subsidizing the profits of these unethical businesses, it is grossly
destabilizing to our society, and it is helping create a welfare nation.
This is where unions come into play, good unions, not conflict of interest unions. Unions, as the name implies, give the workers a unified voice for
negotiating terms of employment. Unions help keep down the use of tax funded support by negotiating for fair and equitable wages, basic benefits,
representation against unethical terminations, etc.
If employers treated and negotiated with their employees fairly then there would not be much of a need for unions. But they don't.