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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:05 PM
Original message
Interesting rumor going around at work lately . . .
I work for a temp agency. At the place where I actually work, we are hearing that the new hires are bewing paid minimum wage, which is somewhat less than what we started out at (not that we get any raises). This company lays us off for a month each year to get around any state inquiries about why essentially permanent employees are still being treated like temps. Now the rumor is that we will be hired back at minimum wage. If this is true, it should spark at least some sort of outcry, right? But it won't. I t would do no good anyway. With the job market so crappy around here, we workers have no leverage. Employers have no incentive to do better by us.

I'm tired and disgusted; I think I'll just put on my "Perfect Strangers" DVDs, pet my cats, and veg out for a while.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. I am sorry to hear this. It sucks, especially for you...
but hurts all of us in the end. I hope it is just a rumor. If not, it might be time to dust off the resume.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nothing would surprise me
absolutely nothing.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. If it turns out to be true, report them to the state.
Labor board, I think.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interesting. And sadly plausible.
Some companies are happy to use long-term temps to keep from paying benefits, even though the temp agency gets as much as half of the money the company pays to the temp agency. I understand that Microsoft was infamous for hiring temps, long term temps especially, for years. Don't know if they still do.

I'm under the vague impression that there are actually laws in effect that are intended to reduce the long-term temp thing, but aren't generally enforced. And I might well be wrong, and that there are no such laws.

I do know that laws about independent contractors are enforceable, but that's not what you're talking about.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. Workers do have leverage: withholding their labor.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. And get fired and replaced.
Tempting, but no thanks.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Nobody ever said organizing was easy.
If they did, they were lying.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You want to pay my bills?
We don't exactly have strike fund, you know.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Are you going to pay them better when you're fired and hired back at minimum wage?
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 09:06 PM by Brickbat
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I'm not making much more than that now.
This is a low-wage town in a low-wage, right-to-work, employment-at-will state. That is why workers have no leverage.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Oh, well then. Better just watch those DVDs.
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kansasblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. Reminds me of a joke we have at work....

It goes like this...

A group of employees are talking at lunch. One guy says the big boss came to him today and took his lunch and ate half of it dumped the rest in the trash. Told him everyone had to work all weekend. No more overtime. And the pay is cut in 1/2. The break room is going to be closed and everyone has to buy their own uniforms. Stands up on his desk and takes a sh*t, whacks him over the him with a big stick and then leaves.

Everyone is quiet for a bit then they all smile and say 'least we still have a job'.

Seemed a lot funnier at work. I guess it parallels your story too closely.

sorry
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's OK.
I think a little gallows humor is appropriate in this situation.
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. Actually you just summed up America in 2011.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Your banner does it even better.
That needs to be a T-shirt worn by every crapped-on worker in the country.
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. It's a DU bumper sticker.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. There are alot of companies doing this now to get around the full-time employee issue.
Its a nasty loophole that needs to be closed.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
11. Express your displeasure by taking actions that hurt the company's bottom line.
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lunasun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. don't work too hard !!
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. Marx addressed this: the reserve army of labor
"...the capitalist mode of production. It forms a disposable industrial reserve army, that belongs to capital quite as absolutely as if the latter had bred it at its own cost. Independently of the limits of the actual increase of population, it creates, for the changing needs of the self-expansion of capital, a mass of human material always ready for exploitation.

With accumulation, and the development of the productiveness of labour that accompanies it, the power of sudden expansion of capital grows also; it grows, not merely because the elasticity of the capital already functioning increases, not merely because the absolute wealth of society expands, of which capital only forms an elastic part, not merely because credit, under every special stimulus, at once places an unusual part of this wealth at the disposal of production in the form of additional capital; it grows, also, because the technical conditions of the process of production themselves machinery, means of transport, &c. now admit of the rapidest transformation of masses of surplus-product into additional means of production. The mass of social wealth, overflowing with the advance of accumulation, and transformable into additional capital, thrusts itself frantically into old branches of production, whose market suddenly expands, or into newly formed branches, such as railways, &c., the need for which grows out of the development of the old ones. In all such cases, there must be the possibility of throwing great masses of men suddenly on the decisive points without injury to the scale of production in other spheres.

Overpopulation supplies these masses. The course characteristic of modern industry, viz., a decennial cycle (interrupted by smaller oscillations), of periods of average activity, production at high pressure, crisis and stagnation, depends on the constant formation, the greater or less absorption, and the re-formation of the industrial reserve army or surplus population.

In their turn, the varying phases of the industrial cycle recruit the surplus population, and become one of the most energetic agents of its reproduction. This peculiar course of modern industry, which occurs in no earlier period of human history, was also impossible in the childhood of capitalist production. The composition of capital changed but very slowly. With its accumulation, therefore, there kept pace, on the whole, a corresponding growth in the demand for labour. Slow as was the advance of accumulation compared with that of more modern times, it found a check in the natural limits of the exploitable labouring population, limits which could only be got rid of by forcible means to be mentioned later. The expansion by fits and starts of the scale of production is the preliminary to its equally sudden contraction; the latter again evokes the former, but the former is impossible without disposable human material, without an increase, in the number of labourers independently of the absolute growth of the population.

This increase is effected by the simple process that constantly sets free a part of the labourers; by methods which lessen the number of labourers employed in proportion to the increased production. The whole form of the movement of modern industry depends, therefore, upon the constant transformation of a part of the labouring population into unemployed or half-employed hands...."

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch25...
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. This is why the elite love high unemployment
and why no one in D.C. still talks about jobs.

I'm sorry that this is happening to you Brigid. I worked a 16 hour day yesterday without benefits too. It IS disgusting!
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