We Pwn Our Workers

If the company is indeed your family, then you owe it your primary loyalty. In the heyday of the postwar Japanese model, when workers actually did this, the company owed them its loyalty back, and generally delivered. That social contract has now been broken, in that supernumerary employees who worked atrocious hours for mediocre pay are now being thrown onto the street like Westerners rather than given windows to sit at until retirement. The company family is, of course, neither able nor willing to return their long evenings of involuntary overtime worked out of familial loyalty.

Like lean manufacturing, the language found its way westwards, without of course the adopters having the slightest intention of actually making good on the implied promises. The twenty-first century is likely to see a revival of the corporate rhetoric about being a family, except that it will be a unilateral kind of patriarchy in which the workers will be expected to show loyalty, while receiving none in return. There is a word for such a person.

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:28 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE ENSLAVING MAMMAL, From Free To Unfree Labour

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