Saturday, June 29, 2013

Predatory capitalists

There's no real news this weekend so here's your long read. ProPublica posts an eye-opening piece, "The Expendables: How the temps who power corporate giants are getting crushed."
In cities all across the country, workers stand on street corners, line up in alleys or wait in a neon-lit beauty salon for rickety vans to whisk them off to warehouses miles away. Some vans are so packed that to get to work, people must squat on milk crates, sit on the laps of passengers they do not know or sometimes lie on the floor, the other workers’ feet on top of them.

This is not Mexico. It is not Guatemala or Honduras. This is Chicago, New Jersey, Boston.

The people here are not day laborers looking for an odd job from a passing contractor. They are regular employees of temp agencies working in the supply chain of many of America’s largest companies – Walmart, Macy’s, Nike, Frito-Lay. They make our frozen pizzas, sort the recycling from our trash, cut our vegetables and clean our imported fish. They unload clothing and toys made overseas and pack them to fill our store shelves. They are as important to the global economy as shipping containers and Asian garment workers.
Corporations have been using temps to cut costs for decades, but under the latest iteration of this business model, the plan appears to be to virtually cut full time hires to the barest minimum in order to exploit a desperate job market and effectively shift the social costs of their predatory capitalism onto the taxpayer.

Read it in full to see our future. They're stealthily turning us into a banana republic. Hard to see how this ends well for anyone except the owners and their CEOs.

[Big thanks to Batocchio for kindly linking in at Mike's Blog Round-up.]

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