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  1. #1
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Default Exploitation of Labor

    Has your labor ever been exploited?

    Have you ever received "under the table" wages less than the state or federal minimum wage?* Has an employer withheld hours or asked you to work "off the clock"? Have you ever been asked to perform tasks that weren't in the job description when you applied, or ever communicated either verbally or in writing? Have you ever worked for an employer for quite some time (3+ years) without any substantial raise/promotion, or benefits? Do you live in an area where, despite educational attainment, jobs are scarce, and the jobs that are available are often low-wage (under $16 an hour)?

    This is a place to share our stories.

    * This is legal, believe it or not. When this happens, you are being formally hired as an "independent contractor." This means that they can pay you whatever they want.
    Over 40 years ago, we were passing through South Carolina - possibly on our way to Florida.
    For reasons unknown to this day, we were shot to death, execution style, on the side of a dirt road.
    We were a young couple, probably in our early to mid-20s, and may have been French Canadian.
    Our identities have never been established.
    So... Who were we?


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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurrealisticSlumbers View Post
    Has your labor ever been exploited?

    Have you ever received "under the table" wages less than the state or federal minimum wage?* Has an employer withheld hours or asked you to work "off the clock"? Have you ever been asked to perform tasks that weren't in the job description when you applied, or ever communicated either verbally or in writing? Have you ever worked for an employer for quite some time (3+ years) without any substantial raise/promotion, or benefits? Do you live in an area where, despite educational attainment, jobs are scarce, and the jobs that are available are often low-wage (under $16 an hour)?

    This is a place to share our stories.

    * This is legal, believe it or not. When this happens, you are being formally hired as an "independent contractor." This means that they can pay you whatever they want.
    That sounds like a big of a legal manipulation or contrivance, I'm pretty sure that the law was never intended to be applied in that fashion, all it achieves is to remove any obligation on the part of an employer to honour any hard fought and won workers rights, even the right to a minimum wage.

    The thing about minimum wages that they are minimums, they are even living wages, it seems to me to be incredibly short sighted for employers to make those sorts of decisions and cheapen human resources in that fashion. That said the whole "dead peasants" thing which Michael Moore profiled was being done by, I think it was, WalMart shocked me, it was definitely unethical.

    It is also shocking that business practices and organisational cultures, particularly boardroom cultures, like these are actively fostered because it means that businesses effectively can not operate without regulation. Then when moves are made by governments to deregulate, like with the banks, it results in crisis or breakdown.

    There could be good reasons to do so besides free market dogma, budgetary pressures for instance, anyway, these sorts of business practices and cultures make it impossible.
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  3. #3
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That sounds like a big of a legal manipulation or contrivance, I'm pretty sure that the law was never intended to be applied in that fashion, all it achieves is to remove any obligation on the part of an employer to honour any hard fought and won workers rights, even the right to a minimum wage.
    Couldn't agree more. To further clarify, we have something in the U.S. called a "1099 Form" - so yeah, this is a thing. Very manipulative.
    Over 40 years ago, we were passing through South Carolina - possibly on our way to Florida.
    For reasons unknown to this day, we were shot to death, execution style, on the side of a dirt road.
    We were a young couple, probably in our early to mid-20s, and may have been French Canadian.
    Our identities have never been established.
    So... Who were we?



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurrealisticSlumbers View Post
    Couldn't agree more. To further clarify, we have something in the U.S. called a "1099 Form" - so yeah, this is a thing. Very manipulative.
    That is completely contrived to circumvent the other laws then, that's such a mistaken outlook, if you can not afford to pay your staff should you really be in business at all?
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  5. #5
    Give me a fourth dot. The Tsarevich's Avatar
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    A few stories.

    - One time, in the US, I was frantic for employment. This was during the Recession. So I got a job at a local coffee shop which was known to be run by a crazy lady. But, it was hiring. So long story short, basically she worked me for 12 hours a day for the entire week CONSTANTLY berating me and shouting at me, arbitrarily fired me at the end of the week, and then refused to pay me what I had earned. The only reason I tolerated this was because I had no other choice in terms of employment. I think if it were me 10 years later, I would make her pay hell. Alas. I looked online some time later and saw that dozens of other people reported the same thing, and she even stole money from performing artists on occasion. I'm happy to say the establishment was ultimately taken from her; wherever she is, I hope she is struggling to make ends meet and going hungry.

    - When I was teaching in Japan (so the rules are different, but STILL, I was pissed off at them), they essentially sponsored my visa as that of an independent contractor. This meant essentially that I had to do everything on my own (so, navigate a brand new society all in Japanese without their aid, etc) and they claimed it gave me "freedom", but basically it was just an excuse for them not to give two shits about us. Because I was still accountable to their dress code, I was still required to show up 30 minutes early to work, I still faced disciplinary action for everything I did wrong (which was often related to my physical appearance)...etc. Even though I was on my own and completely without assistance from the company, my every move was controlled by them. I felt this was very exploitative, an underhanded way of maximising profit while short-shrifting employees.

    - Another incident that stands out in my mind was this one time when I was sub-hired to work on organizing the information in a database for said Japanese company. So, when I showed up, they made me wait for 10 minutes before even attending to me. When they put me to work, nobody gave me any guidance. They simply asked that I put the information in various categories according to what made sense (it wasn't always straightforward). My supervisor would then read it and polish it up.

    At one point there was literally gibberish, and I wrote the word "WTF" as a note to the supervisor...assuming that it was quick shorthand for "I really can't make any sense of this". And she came back and yelled at me for it. When I apologised, she said it was OK.

    The next day, I received word I had been fired behind my back on the grounds that I "showed up late" and "left early" (it was true, when I was finished I just left, as I couldn't find my supervisor on hand to ask if there was more I could do--but the 10 minutes late was their fault) that I used "profanity" (despite the fact that I didn't, and that it was a private database that no one else was going to see), and that I had "incorrectly categorized the data" (which I wouldn't have done if I'd gotten proper guidance). They then forced me to stay late to "fix" my "mistakes", as though I had done it on purpose and KNEW exactly what I was doing "wrong".

    I was seriously ready to walk out right then and there. I wish, in retrospect, I had. I mean, you can't simply demand someone do something and then not give them any guidance whatsoever on it or naming your unstated expectations and then punish them for not knowing it, without even assessing THEIR side of events, issuing a warning, or giving them a second chance. And this isn't the only incident, it's just the one that pissed me off most. Stuff like this happened on probably a bi-weekly basis. They would never give me advice or instructions, and then punish me for not knowing things.

    I still felt a surge of fury typing that up. I'm like shaking as I write. I mean, it's not THAT bad, it's pretty minor, but it's so fucking arbitrary, and somewhat humiliating. All the people involved were Otaku whites who had overly merged to the Japanese Way out of some sort of deep self-loathing, I swear to God. That was the part that really got to me...we're all minority foreigners in this culture, why are we marginalizing and punishing each other like this? Gross. We should be expressing solidarity. Ahem...sorry. Anyway, I jumped at the chance to get out of that degrading institution.

    - Said institution was also charging student about $80 per lesson, whereas we teachers only got about $15 of it. I'm bolding this line, because that tells you everything you need to know about it.

    - I could also tell you about one time when I exploited corporate China--something atypical at best. But, the owner of the corporation was a brother to one of the gods, who apparently saw it and hasn't stopped making me pay since then.

    So I don't know if that answers the question, but it's to the point where I pretty much expect labour to be unfair and designed specifically to trip me up. I haven't worked for several years now, and I'm not actually sure I can with memories like that. I will, hopefully, have an MSc by the end of this year. Even with an advanced degree, $16 per hour sounds insanely high to me. I really expect to be working class my whole life, undoubtedly in bullshit conditions like above, irrespective of whatever efforts I make to the contrary. This is depressing.
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  6. #6
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    That was/is very mainstream in my country since the neoliberal ideology came from the west in the 90s. However since the situation didn't have the solution the people got triggered and resistance started. People gathered into very large groups in order to fight foreign banks and their scams, the fastest growing political option in recent years is far left, some rich people got arrested and charged, various anti-market laws were introduced, people are posting selfies with Russian flags, various nationalization plans are openly disscused in the media ... etc. Since the whole market thing went too far and people prefer that this place has it's future.
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