I know it’s considered responsible to accept things as they are. I know it’s considered mature and strong to take the problems the world throws at you without complaint and just push through them. I know that docilely submitting to authority is considered a virtue and anyone who “has a problem with authority” is considered childish.
I understand these things, but I still can’t help but wonder how the world could be better. The immature, weak, ungrateful little brat in me has identified 7 ways I believe workers’ rights are still drastically below the standards of basic humanity dignity and equality.
1. Workers should get paid what they’re worth. Most of the workers at the place I work get paid minimum wage, but the work we do generates millions of dollars of profit for our company every year. The people who generated that money only see a fraction of it. They eat like shit because they can’t afford real food. They drink to forget their shitty lives, and they’ve accepted that they’re going to live shitty, hard working lives forever. The top 2 or 3 people in company live in mansions, do very little work and smile all day, every day.
This describes most companies. The standard business model is based on a modern version of slavery that allows the masters to exploit their workers with plausible deniability. The end result is unmistakable though. The masters make all the money for controlling the means of production while the people running the economy get paid nothing and waste their lives in humiliating servitude.
I know all the excuses for why we should live under corporate slavery, and I don’t buy them. If we ever hope to live in utopia or even just be decent human beings we need to figure out a way to share profits equitably within companies using a better system than supply and demand (which really just amounts to, “screw whoever you can however you can whenever you can”).
2. Workers should not have to take shit from customers. Worker’s aren’t allowed to verbally abuse their bosses. Parent’s aren’t allowed to verbally abuse their children. Teachers aren’t allowed to verbally abuse their students. You can’t verbally abuse a random person on the street without fear of repercussions. Everyone is protected from verbal abuse except customer service workers. Customers can bitch out customer service workers as hurtfully as they want and the customer service representative has to submit to it. If they demand to be treated with the basic level of human dignity everyone else is afforded under the law they’ll be labeled insubordinate and get fired.
I have no idea how/why my parent’s generation allowed this to happen, but if its’ wrong to verbally abuse people directly then it’s blatantly a violation of basic human dignity for a company to force it’s workers to submit to verbal abuse from customers. Customer service representatives need the law to protect them from verbal abuse and give them the right to tell assholes to go fuck themselves.
3. Freedom of expression. I don’t know how/why my parent’s generation let professionalism get to the maniacal level it’s gotten to, but this problem should have been acknowledge and ended a long time ago. People should be allowed to dress themselves however they want. Nobody should have the power over another person to tell them what to wear. Basic human rights don’t get any more basic than that. Being forced to wear uniforms or even conform to certain standards of appearance is humiliating, degrading and oppressive. If we want to live in a free society we can be proud of the very least we can do for our children is let them dress themselves how they want and quit forcing them to conform their identities to the soulless, exploitive standards of professionalism.
4. Stop drug testing. Nobody with any intelligence thinks drug testing really accomplishes anything productive. People who use drugs aren’t bad. Most people who use drugs don’t use them at work. The purpose of drug tests are defeated by allowing people to drink alcohol. If there’s a legal way to get high, does it really matter which way you get high? No.
And most high paying jobs don’t drug test. Politicians don’t get drug tested. CEOs don’t get drug tested. Important people don’t get drug tested because important people use drugs, and it doesn’t matter. The only thing drug testing accomplishes is making life harder for people whose lives already suck so bad that the only realistic chance they have at any form of happiness is through ingesting chemicals. Help their lives suck less by ending the practice of drug testing or drug test everybody.
5. Employers shouldn’t get a carte blanche on contracts. Workers are exploited, stolen from, abused, humiliated, forced to live in fear and fired with complete disregard for their dignity because people need jobs to eat. This means employers can put anything they want in their contracts and people have to agree to it to get a job. Then when the company wants to abuse their workers they can say, “But you agreed to this. See you signed your contract.”
Of course we signed the contract. We need to eat. So we had to concede to your extortionate demands. Workers should be protected from this kind of unethical treatment by the law.
6. Shorter work weeks. What are we doing here people? The year 2000 has come and gone. We’re living in the age of technology. There’s no reason to work 9+ hour days 5+ days a week. All we’re doing is lining our masters’ pockets with thicker pads of money. We’re wasting our lives at work, and it’s making us miserable, stressed and volatile. This is so pointless a child can see it. We should be working 7 hour days 4 days a week. You know what will happen if we do? Everyone will be happier. That’s it. So why aren’t we doing it already?
7. Create 1 national job board. People can’t find jobs because networking is more important than skills. The “good old boy” system is out dated and detrimental to the national economy. We should get rid of the millions of avenues business have to advertise jobs and force them all to post on one federally funded job board. That way everyone will have access to every job opportunity.
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Issues in the Workplace
- Advice for young workers
- Stop treating people like shit and they’ll start giving a fuck
- 7 reasons minimum wage should be higher
- The injustice of employee contracts
- Professionalism is a straitjacket
- We need to do more to help people get the job that’s right for them
- The customer is not always right
- People are important.
- What’s the difference between expensive wine and cheap wine?
- The life of an apple thinner