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’Direct Controls / ‘Low-Trust’ OrganisationsOrganisations
  4. 4. Here are some of the working conditions the labourers must endure…
  5. 5. Hours Per Week Wages Per Hour Conditions Iris Fashions 72-80. 12-15 hour shifts; 6 days a week. $0.20 No union; workers paid a $0.06 an hour premium for overtime;$0.02 for each shirt collar sewn.
  6. 6. Hours Per Week Wages Per Hour Conditions You Li Fashion factory 93. 7.30-midnight. 7 days a week. $0.13 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. Hours Per Week Wages Per Hour Conditions Yue Yuen Factory 77-84. 11-12 hour shifts; 7 days a week. $0.19 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 called STAR LABOR that allows head office maximum control over the schedules of its clerks down to the minute. They give an arbitrary skill number from 1 to 9 and they plug in when you’re available, how long you’ve been there, when customers come in and when more staff is needed, and the computer spits our the schedule based on that. For some employees it means starting work at 5a.m. only to leave at 9.30a.m.”
  12. 12. Free Work!
  13. 13. “Unpaid interns contribute five or six thousand dollars’ worth of uncompensated work to various media conglomerates, who insist they are generously offering young people precious experience in a hard employment market. Besides, they say, the interns don’t really need the money.”
  14. 14. “These companies all have the formula. They don’t take you on full time. They don’t pay benefits. Then their profits go through the roof.” Laura Pisciotti, UPS Worker on strike
  15. 15. “More companies are outsourcing entire functions and divisions to outside agencies charged not only with staffing – just like the EPZ factories - but administration and maintenance. “In 1993, American Airlines outsourced the ticket counters at 28 U.S. airports to outside agencies. Around 550 ticketing agent jobs went 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 exert power 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