Corporate Profits over Employee Compensation

A ''Now Hiring'' sign is seen in the store front window in Miami, Fla.

A ”Now Hiring” sign is seen in the store front window in Miami, Fla.

What is the future for people who perform unskilled labor at a minimum wage?  Will they be able to earn enough money to live a comfortable life?  Or has corporate profitability destined these individuals to become modern day slaves who never get ahead.  I was listening to a story on NPR’s program Marketplace where they explored such a question.

Stephanie Luce is a labor sociologist at the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute. She has studied union movements around the world and co-authored, with the Retail Action Network, a study based on surveys of retail workers in New York titled Discounted Jobs: How Retailers Sell Workers Short.

During the study they found that; “Among low-wage employers — retail, hospitality, food service — employers are requiring their employees to say they’re available for a full-time schedule, even when they know they’re never going to schedule them for full-time.”

“Managers are asked to schedule based on customer-flow, on weather, on trends in the economy, and to change the schedule day-to-day,” says Luce. “They don’t want employees that are going to say ‘I can’t come in, I have another job.’ They want employees that’ll say, ‘OK, I’ll come in if you need me. I won’t come in if you don’t need me.’”

“I was just reading a retail consulting report,” says Luce, “that said this was the main area in which businesses could achieve profit — using labor-scheduling technologies. Employers want to reduce their cost. It was excess inventory in the ‘90s. And now it’s excess employment. This is a way for them to cut down on labor costs, and in theory shift it from a fixed cost to a variable cost that could shift with consumer demand.”

For the full story go to; More people need second jobs, fewer can find them and then tell me what you think.

About craigruark

Craig A. Ruark is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing and PR professional. In 2008, Craig became one of the first non-technical persons to become an Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council for ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED AP). Over the years he has immersed himself in the subject of “sustainability” and by combining this knowledge with his expertise in marketing and advertising, has published a book titled “Marketing Your Green Side,” which is available through Amazon. Craig is an avid fitness participant, sailor, SCUBA diver, enjoys singing Karaoke, listening to jazz, and is working on his next book.
This entry was posted in Business, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),, Employee Relations, Ethics, Sustainability and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s