This isn’t a Conservative versus Liberal issue. It’s about United States labor laws, nationally accepted labor practices, common sense, and believing in the fairly reasonable assumption that full-time American workers have the right and justifiable expectation to work the number of hours and earn the number of dollars they were initially promised and for which they were hired.
Resulting in a salary which allows the employee to do such “trivial” things as pay their rent/mortgage/utilities, buy food/clothing, cover the myriad of modern day expenses such as cell service/cable TV/internet, and maybe even buy themselves a nice dinner out every now and then. (God forbid!)
Employee A accepts a job offer from Employer A based upon the promise of 40 hours of work a week at, let’s say $15 an hour. Seems pretty simple, right? The employer has budgeted for this number of hours and base pay based on work expectations, the skill level of the job, and the employee has determined that this is an acceptable remuneration for the work expected, and accepts the job offer.
Not so fast.
Employer A then decides to institute a policy of VTO, Voluntary Time Off, except it’s not really voluntary at all. If you’re scheduled to work a particular shift, and it’s not very busy that day, this new VTO policy tells you, “Go home,” and if you don’t, “We’re going to make your life with us very difficult, or we’re going to make your life with us very short.”
Employer A is Amazon, and basically, Amazon is telling its workers in its fulfillment centers to go home now, because it’s slow now and you’re not needed. Mind you, this isn’t determined on a weekly schedule basis. Not even day today. It’s decided hourly, and even if you’re in the middle of a shift, you will be “kindly encouraged” to clock out now.
Kind of like some illegals standing outside of Home Depot, hoping someone comes by in a pickup truck to offer them a few hours of work mowing some lawns or putting up some drywall.
No doubt, there are tens of thousands of potential Amazon employees who would jump at the chance of working there and getting the hell out early, working less than 40 hours a week, getting home and hitting that Colt 45, but this isn’t about them. It’s about those who were promised something (a full-time job), lied to, and later intimated that it’s Amazon’s way or the highway. The former bunch, offer them an on-call, flex-time, part-time position. The latter, keep your promise to your full-time employees who want to work hard and show up every day, and who arrive to work all day.
Did Amazon develop its labor practices from Vietnam? Will U.S. administrations and the American public from both sides of the aisle continue to tolerate this abuse of American workers because it makes things less expensive, and because “The Chinese are coming!?”
Walmart started this abuse, this culture that the worker doesn’t matter, because it’s all about the “common good,’ which means lower prices. Walmart’s history of labor abuses could fill an encyclopedia, including hundreds of instances where Walmart Managers were encouraged by Corporate to increase performance, which meant telling workers to clock out but to get back to work again anyway! Firing long-time employees who were “earning too much.” And creating a hostile work environment in which intimidation and fear of job loss are their main employee motivational tools. (So the next time a Walmart employee doesn’t give you the big smile and friendly attitude you think you deserve, try to remember this.)
Amazon is simply following in Walmart’s footsteps, and Walmart, in turn, has been following in Amazon’s subsequent footsteps, upping the game even more, doing everything they can to squeeze and screw the worker to keep those prices lower and up the profits.
The hell with the law, the hell with what’s right, the hell with what’s good for America.
Welcome to Vietnam!