Lecture 6


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Lecture 6

  1. 1. Power & the Control of Work
  2. 2. #1 Coercive: Naked Power
  3. 3. Direct Controls / ‘Low-Trust’ Organisations
  4. 4. Here are some of theworking conditions thelabourers mustendure…
  5. 5. Iris FashionsHours Per 72-80. 12-15 hour shifts; 6 days a week.WeekWages Per $0.20HourConditions No union; workers paid a $0.06 an hour premium for overtime;$0.02 for each shirt collar sewn.
  6. 6. You Li Fashion factoryHours Per 93. 7.30-midnight. 7 days a week.WeekWages Per $0.13HourConditions No overtime pay; no benefits; sometimes employees need to work 24- hour shifts, 6-8 people to a dorm room; dorm is dark and dirty; workers afraid; under constant surveillance; no Corporate Code of Conduct
  7. 7. Yue Yuen FactoryHours Per 77-84. 11-12 hour shifts; 7 days a week.WeekWages Per $0.19HourConditions Forced overtime, no overtime premium paid; excessive noise pollution; fumes in factory; no Code of Conduct
  8. 8. No Mums Allowed!• Pregnancy tests• Contraceptive pills• Forced abortions• Mistreatment designed to compel resignations• Sanitary pad check and 28-day contracts• Denied time-off for medical
  9. 9. #2 Silencing: Political Power
  10. 10. Part-Timers, Temps and Outsourcing
  11. 11. “Starbucks…created a software program calledSTAR LABOR that allows head office maximumcontrol over the schedules of its clerks down tothe minute. They give an arbitrary skill numberfrom 1 to 9 and they plug in when you’reavailable, how long you’ve been there, whencustomers come in and when more staff isneeded, and the computer spits our theschedule based on that. For some employees itmeans starting work at 5a.m. only to leave at9.30a.m.”
  12. 12. Free Work!
  13. 13. “Unpaid interns contribute five or sixthousand dollars’ worth ofuncompensated work to various mediaconglomerates, who insist they aregenerously offering young peopleprecious experience in a hardemployment market. Besides, they say,the interns don’t really need the money.”
  14. 14. “These companies all have theformula. They don’t take you onfull time. They don’t paybenefits. Then their profits gothrough the roof.”Laura Pisciotti,UPS Worker on strike
  15. 15. “More companies are outsourcing entirefunctions and divisions to outside agenciescharged not only with staffing – just like theEPZ factories - but administration andmaintenance.“In 1993, American Airlines outsourced theticket counters at 28 U.S. airports to outsideagencies. Around 550 ticketing agent jobswent temp and some workers who had earned$40,000 were offered their same job back at$16,000.”
  16. 16. Microsoft - The ‘Employee-less’ Corporation!• Core: permanent jobs, benefits, stock- options, youthful corporate ‘campus’• Periphery: – Not on payroll – Contractors – Flexibility to be sent home – Tax-free
  17. 17. Part-Timers’ Union?
  18. 18. #3 Internalisation: Social Power
  19. 19. Kanban
  20. 20. Greater ‘Visibility’
  21. 21. Higher internal substitutability
  22. 22. No more‘informal’routines!
  23. 23. How else can organisations exertpower over highly-skilled workers?
  24. 24. Seniority-based Compensation
  25. 25. Lifetime Employment
  26. 26. How do workers become DEPENDENT on the organisation?
  27. 27. Lifestyle
  28. 28. “Locked-in” Spending